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Characters from The Dresden Files, Harry's household.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Battle Ground) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.



Our hero, his semi-loyal pets, his kids and the dirty-minded familiar that lives in his skull. (A skull he owns, anyway.)

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    Harry Dresden 

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dresden_welcometothejungle.png
Chicago's very own wizard PI at work.

My job hadn't changed: When demons and horrors and creatures of the night prey on this city, I'm the guy who does something about it.

Our hero, a smart-assed private investigator and wizard with a really big cat, an even bigger dog, and a dark past. Since he killed his mentor in a magical duel after said Evil Mentor's failed attempt to bring him over to The Dark Side, he's been under very serious suspicion by the White Council as a potential warlock. Only Ebenezar McCoy's intervention stopped him from being executed. Now he makes a living helping the helpless and beating the snot out of vampires, but he's starting to realize that his family history is a lot more complicated than he had suspected...


  • Action Dad: To his daughter, Maggie. He wiped out the entire Red Court to save her and outsmarted Nicodemus & ruined his credibility in the supernatural community after he tried to kill Maggie.
  • The Alleged Car: The Blue Beetle is junk. Literally so as of Changes after a Red Court monster ripped it apart beyond even Mike the Mechanic's famous skill.
  • Amazon Chaser: All the women he pursues are incredibly tough. One is an Intrepid Reporter, and the others are all extremely deadly combatants.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In-universe, Murphy notes most muggles he interacts with wouldn't have a hard time thinking this even if it's not the case. It would be easy for an armchair psychiatrist to put Dresden somewhere on the autism spectrum, as he is a self-declared wizard who never looks people in the eyes, has a near-pathological need to snark, bad personal hygiene, and Nerves of Steel that means he responds little to things normal people would lose their wits over. From Harry's POV he has logical reasons for most of these (avoid soulgazes, no electricity or mirrors in his apartment, Seen It All when it comes to supernatural horror, etc.), but that doesn't make him seem any less weird to anyone who doesn't believe in magic.
  • Animal Motifs: Indirectly, but horses. Harry is nicknamed "Hoss" by his mentor, and later becomes a Knight (of the Fae)- a position symbolized in chess by a horse's head. When he completes Mab's training, she laughs "like a little girl who has just been told she’s getting a pony." Word of Jim confirms Harry himself has a love for horses that he developed while living under Ebenezer McCoy's tutelage.
  • Anti-Hero: Pragmatic Hero. He's generally a good guy with a bad case of Chronic Hero Syndrome and Honor Before Reason, but piss him off and you'll wish you'd never been born. Such as when he maimed Quintus Cassius for trying to take advantage of the Knights' code of conduct, or he exterminated the entire Red Court. And of course, he also has a massive anti-authority chip on his shoulder, is terrible at communicating his thoughts with others, and has an unhealthy lust for power.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: He is the Knight in Sour Armor who always does the right thing. This quote from Ghost Story sums it up perfectly.
    It.
    Wasn't.
    Right.
    No, it wasn't. But the world wasn't a fair place, was it? And I had more reason to know it than most people twice my age. The world wasn't nice, and it wasn't fair. People who didn't deserve it suffered and died every single day.
    So what?
    So somebody ought to do something about it.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Bianca and the Red Court. It ends with him causing their entire species to go extinct.
    • To the LaChaise clan of ghouls, since he is responsible for the deaths of several of the clan members. Since they have killed or maimed a lot of his clients, Harry returns the sentiment.
    • To Nicodemus Archleone, especially after Skin Game, and the Denarians in general (though it can be argued that Michael Carpenter and the Knights of the Cross are the greater enemies to Ol' Nick in the grand scheme of things).
    • To Nemesis, many of whose plans he's foiled. And as a Starborn, he is one of these to the Outsiders, He Who Walks Behind in particular.
    • To Cowl of the Black Council. Not only is it implied that "Mouse's Shadow" is owned by Cowl, but Cowl immediately sees Harry as a severe threat to his group's plans after he's responsible for serving as a massive Spanner in the Works in Dead Beat.
    • To "Gentleman" John Marcone. Both men might be Friendly Enemies with each other, but they also fervently hate each other and are preparing for the inevitable day when they will clash and hopefully wipe the other from existence.
    • To Mavra of the Black Court. Really, considering their similar levels of power, ruthlessly practical mindsets, Deadpan Snarker tendencies, and almost-instantly induced mutual loathing for each other, she probably has the best argument for being Dresden's greatest Arch Enemy when not including the Walkers and Outsiders. Along with Nicodemus, she is one of the few enemies he would give anything to kill. Even Bob has been surprised by his viciousness towards her.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: He may seem slow, but Harry has a careful and analytical mind when it suits him. His questions in White Night gave a shadow of a fallen angel reason to believe that she could (and should) make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Him sharply telling Lash "Lady, you ain't Lasciel" in White Night is implied to be the final turn of phrase that helps convince her that she is her own person independent of the "true" Lasciel.
  • Arranged Marriage: as of Battle Ground, he's in one with Lara Raith courtesy of Mab. Neither party is thrilled with the idea.
  • Back from the Dead: As of Cold Days, he gets back up after he was sniped and fell into Lake Michigan. It took the combined efforts of Demonreach, Mab, and the spirit in his head to keep his body alive for the six months his soul was set loose, and sent to Limbo Chicago and then Chicago proper. Butters is of the mind Harry was in a deep coma; though it's been remarked by several entities that, metaphysically speaking, he was clearly dead and back again.
  • Bad Liar: One would imagine that someone capable of hatching a half-decent plan with a half-second's notice would be able to lie half-decently, but Harry simply cannot. Averted in the later books thanks to sheer practice. By the beginning of Proven Guilty, Murphy becomes concerned about him because was actually able to tell a convincing lie.
  • Badass Baritone: "Aftermath" (which is narrated by Murphy) mentions that Harry's voice is usually soft, but when he's either in combat or deliberately trying to intimidate someone, he has a resonant baritone. Since Harry rarely mentions it in any of his books, it's possible he's not really aware of it.
    • invoked Which describes how he sounds in the audio books pretty well. Given that "Aftermath" was written well after the first audiobooks were published, it's possible Butcher was inspired by them.
  • Badass Beard: Every once in a while.
  • Badass Bookworm/Genius Bruiser: Depending on where you place his six foot nine, but skinny, person. As of Skin Game it seems like his relentless physical training as the Winter Knight has pushed him permanently into the latter, with him noting when he enters a formal occasion with Hannah Ascher on his arm that while she, a beautiful and apparently non-threatening young woman, is overlooked by the security goons, in him they see "one of their own kind, who had better scars than they did."
  • Badass in Distress: Becomes a Distressed Dude on a regular basis and cannot always get out on his own.
  • Badass Longcoat: Harry wears a duster. A magically reinforced, black leather duster "with extra billow" that can repel almost any physical attack. After the original was destroyed in Changes, Molly got him a new one in Cold Days.
  • Badass Teacher:
    • Played With. To Molly, he'll go through hell to protect her, and though his teaching can come off as harsh and enigmatic, he's actually rather soft on her by White Council standards.
    • He was also an instructor for the young Wardens at Luccio's bootcamp for a time. When an attack by ghouls resulted in two of the recruits getting killed and eaten, he makes sure the attackers suffer for it to an extent that even other Wardens thought he was going too far.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In Summer Knight, Harry's so obsessed with saving Susan that he neglects everything else, including hygiene.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Harry's favorite trick is turning his foes' weapons against them. From bound demons and hexenwulf belts to zombie dinosaurs and bloodline curses, Harry doesn't just stop the bad guys' ploys, but volleys them right back at the villains themselves.
  • Being Good Sucks: invoked Word of God has outright stated that they will have the plot always directed in whatever way will make Harry suffer more, as it makes the story all the more entertaining.
    • Harry is regularly forced into bad situations where, regardless of what he does, he will step on good people's toes and cause them great grief. In Grave Peril, his earlier poor choices led him to choose between watching Bianca slaughter an innocent girl and unmake Amoracchius (which isn't even his) or break his promise of good conduct and start a war with the Red Court. Lampshaded by Bianca and the headstone she gives him, with the epitaph "He died doing the right thing."
    • This trope really describes his life in general. The whole reason he lives in Perpetual Poverty in a crummy basement flat is that he chose to scrape together a living as a private investigator rather than go into a career that would make him lots of money but wouldn't have any opportunities to help people in need. This is pointed out on several occasions, though from time to time, fate rewards him for being a good guy.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's actually Thomas' younger half-brother, but the end result is more or less the same. Harry nearly levels an entire shopping mall in "It's My Birthday, Too" during his battle with a scourge of Black Court vampires trying to kill Thomas on his birthday.
  • Big Entrance: Harry is fond of those, especially when he's pissed and wants to intimidate. In Storm Front, he uses a wind spell to rip open the doors of Marcone's restaurant outwards before announcing himself. In White Night he stages another one among the white court, walking in while slamming a force spell through his staff in the ground of the cavern to make a tremor ripple through it, while wearing his Warden's cloak. As a result of this tendency, Marcone has had flimsy, light doors installed at dramatic - rather than tactical - entry points of his businesses for magical monsters and practitioners.
  • Blessed with Suck: As the Winter Knight, Harry gains a degree of Super Strength, a Healing Factor, more magical juice and access to ice magic... but in return, it gives him a vulnerability to Cold Iron with a side order of mind-warping and psychopathic predatory impulses. On top of that, losing the Mantle (by breaking the laws the Winter Fae abide by) causes all injuries and defects the mantle "cured" to return, undiminished.
    • In Skin Game, Butters theorizes the Winter Knight's mantle isn't power-imbuing as much as it being psychosomatic, with increased testosterone increasing aggression and strength paired running the human body with the limits turned off. You know, like the limits that keep one from breaking their own bones, shredding their own muscles, or running themselves to death by exhaustion. Murphy's counterpoint is that Butters is pointing out facts that fit multiple theories - though Harry himself thinks it's plausible.
    • A relatively minor case (at least when compared to his Winter Knight Mantle), but thanks to being a wizard and thus a Walking Techbane he has to make do without most modern luxuries. He doesn't have TV, a cell phone, or hot water, and can't even get a CAT scan without setting the machine on fire just by his merest presence.
  • Blue-Collar Warlock: No formal education? Harry's a high school dropout with a GED. Unschooled language? Slang, snark, and pop-culture references galore. No independent source of money? Harry makes his living as a PI. City dweller? Chicago. Focus on practical magic? Pretty much. Blue collar family? As far as we know, yes.
    • In addition to slinging spells and has a pretty good knowledge base of magical theory and the supernatural communities, Harry uses revolvers and a number of magical gadgets that slowly grows into a small arsenal (until the chain of events in Changes leaves him next to nothing to his name). His skills as a PI are pretty considerable, and it comes with a working knowledge of Chicago's underworld and a number of legally dubious items, like unprescribed painkillers, a sawn-off shotgun or two, and a good set of lockpicks.
  • Book Dumb: Played with. Harry's a smart guy and pretty well-read, but he never finished high school. Which is in stark contrast to the many, many advanced degrees held by the rest of the White Council. On top of that, the Council conducts all its business in Latin: Harry can understand it pretty well, but speak it, not so much at first. Stupid correspondence course.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Blood Rites reveals that he's been taking regular aikido and bo staff fighting lessons with Murphy for several years.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Being deprived of magic doesn't make him harmless. The very first (canon-wise) Dresdenverse story has him killing a troll with its own weapon.
  • Buffy Speak: This gem from Fool Moon:
    "DON'T MESS WITH A WIZARD WHILE HE'S WIZARDING! NOW GET ME A STUFFED ANIMAL!"
  • Catchphrase: Not obvious, but he's got a few phrases that he likes. The most prominent is a smug "Damn I'm good."
    • During Skin Game, he shouts "Parkour!" every time he performs it. Michael is slightly bemused.
  • Character Development:
    • Starts out reckless & impulsive (if well-meaning), steadily gains brains, caution, & better judgment.
      • One mark of this is to count how many times per book he uses the Indy Ploy vs. Xanatos Speed Chess. In earlier books, he would stumble into a situation and then make something up, but as the series goes on, he becomes wiser, more manipulative, and much more able to pull off cunning plans.
    • The first couple books have him sticking to the idea that knowledge of the supernatural is dangerous and should generally be kept to oneself. After this attitude blows up in his face a few times, he starts accepting that sometimes people need to be clued in to survive.
    • It's subtle, but after Summer Knight, he is much more respectful to the Faerie Queens than he was the first time he met them. Most notably, even after having been nearly Eaten Alive by Mother Winter in Cold Days he still jumps to her defense in an argument with Mother Summer since he's gotten a much better understanding of the Fae's Blue-and-Orange Morality than he once did.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • His time spend at Ebenezar's farm has left him with a good knowledge of horse physiology and some general ungulate (hoofed-mammal) physiology. Thus when facing an enemy with similar physiology, he knows exactly where to hit for maximum damage. This has saved his life in many occasions, especially when magic is not usable.
    • Additionally, his regimen of self-taught parkour in Skin Game is all that saves his life in the final battle against the Genoskwa & Ursiel in Hades' Vault.
  • The Chessmaster: While Harry is often fighting above his weight class in this category, he evolves into this over the course of the novels. Mab explicitly expects him to outmaneuver Nicodemus in Skin Game, with Murphy pointing out that it is what he's good at, and he manages to do so... with a little help.
  • The Chew Toy: Jim Butcher has literally said that his whole career revolves around torturing Harry.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Harry would never take advantage of a girl, but that doesn't mean he won't look. Even if the woman in question is a Faerie Queen.
    • His peeping incident with a naked female thief was in academic interest only. Seriously!
  • The Chosen Many: Harry has learned late in the series that he is a "Starborn", one born under a confluence of events (which happens to line up exactly with Halloween night), and it gives him power over Outsiders. It's why Justin DuMorne adopted him and, it is hinted, Elaine. It's strongly implied that his mother arranged the circumstances of his birth so this would happen and this may be why she married Malcolm Dresden in the first place. The only other known Starborn are Elaine (according to Word of God), his Evil Counterpart Cowl, the Fomor's Hypercompetent Sidekick Listen, and the Humanoid Abomination Drakul.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • In Turn Coat, Lara Raith realizes that Harry is protecting Warden Morgan from the Council's own internal manhunt because people in trouble go to him and he helps them.
    • And he has a massive Guilt Complex to go with that Chronic Hero Syndrome. It originated when he was escaping from Justin, as he got a civilian involved by trying to rob him, only for the sadistic He Who Walks Behind to come along and brutally kill the young man. The Chronic Hero Syndrome also feeds his Guilt Complex-whenever he fails to save someone, he always blames himself.
  • The Collector of the Strange: Vampire teeth. He also has a variety of *very* odd things in his lab, including depleted uranium powder and a baggy made of the scrotum of a lion ("It was a gift.").
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Primarily the reason that Harry continues to assert that he is not a "good" person. Occasional forays into spur of the moment damsel rescuing aside, Harry rarely ever goes into a situation without being prepared and more tellingly, if he sees an opportunity to get the upper hand over a superior opponent by playing dirty, he doesn't hesitate to use it.
    • He's perfectly willing to use a gun or hand-to-hand combat when that would work better than magic, which is especially effective since a lot of people expect him to be a stereotypical Squishy Wizard who has no combat skills other than magic.
      Harry: [after punching a bad guy in the face] Man, the yahoos I scrap with never anticipate that tactic.
    • It's perfectly spelled out in Battle Ground with this quote:
      Harry: Which idiot fights fair?
  • Cool Pet: Has a pet cat and dog, Mister and Mouse. Both have detected and terrified a large number of supernatural beings.
  • Crazy-Prepared: While no Batman, he always keeps some nifty stuff at various points so that they may come of use. In Turn Coat, he had another hideout ready if it was ever needed, which he uses to hide Morgan.
    • It has been mentioned several times he keeps around stashes of the several Weaksauce Weaknesses of several supernatural beings in case he encounters them, like water balloons with holy water for Black Court vampires.
  • Creature of Habit: To a degree that even his enemies know and they have used it against him occasionally.
  • Cruel to Be Kind:
    • When training with Justin. Justin practised this old mentality of wizard training. He would strike Harry not in anger, but to make him work at the problem again. He didn't raise his voice, but pushed Harry hard. He used baseballs to make Harry get his shields even stronger. If not for the betrayal and brainwashing, this is considered the standard accepted method of training a wizard. Note that this was also how Luccio trained Morgan, except instead of baseballs, she used rocks.
    • Averted with Harry to Molly. He would push her, make her think about her actions, and such, but never was as hard or cruel to her as Justin was to Harry or Lea would be to Molly. However, Lea argues that his hand-holding and being a second-father-figure to the girl fails her needs. Pain motivates people, pushing them hard to make them find their limits and surpass them, and both are needed to be a well-trained wizard - thus Harry's failings helped Molly fall off the wagon in Ghost Story.
    • However, given Lea's character and point of view, the Winter Court's vested interest in both a Molly and a Harry that are susceptible to this point of view, and the revelation that it wasn't Harry's teaching style or lack thereof that led to Molly's breakdown but the fact that a Fallen Angel's whisper influenced Harry into arranging his own death and enlisting Molly's help in making him forget that he had done so, this is fairly arguable.
    • Averted and discussed in the case of raising his daughter. McCoy advocates this position (not without reason), but Harry refuses to even consider it. This ends up backfiring in both Skin Game and Peace Talks.
  • Cultured Badass: Not as much as other examples, but he does compose a brief poem and whistle Carmen while hyped up on magic coffee in Fool Moon, is very knowledgeable about fairy tales and mythology, mentions some familiarity with Vivaldi in White Night, and in Skin Game is able to identify the painting styles of individual Renaissance masters at a glance. He also knows The Bible very well for someone who doesn't practise religion.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: So, so much. Even he doesn't know all the details of just how dark and troubled it really is. And it keeps getting worse.
  • Dark Shepherd: Occasionally acts like this, especially with Molly — see the fireball scene in White Night. He tries to be nicer to his friends, but when push comes to shove, he needs to work to not make his allies fear him rather than respect him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Constantly, to the point where his influence has turned several of his friends and associates into snarkers too. And when he isn't snarking at his enemies, he is typically going balls-to-the-wall and they will soon suffer for pissing him off.
  • Deal with the Devil: He's turned down a lot of these over the course of the series, but some he did accept for the right price.
    • He made a deal with Lea in his teenage days to defeat his master. He had to spend years running from the consequences.
    • Played with in Changes. He accepts Mab's to become her Knight in exchange for the power to protect his daughter and save her. However, Harry quickly notes she is evil, dark, and dangerous, she is not his worst Devil available. He could have Chosen the Denarians or even become a necromatic god to save his daughter.
    • He previously accepted, and subverted, Lasciel's. He took knowledge from the Shadow only to the point it is necessary to avert the major crisis but it is always a last resort to him. Eventually, the Shadow realizes Harry will never truly accept the coin.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Harry infuses a bullet with Soulfire and Winter Ice Magic in Cold Days to do massive damage to He-Who-Walks-Before when he administers a point-blank headshot to the demon.
  • Destructive Savior: When destroying buildings is a Running Gag, you know you've got one on your hands.
    • Ghost Story reveals that the first magical battle he engaged in at sixteen, against He Who Walks Behind, ended with an entire gas station exploding. And the fallout of the Battle of Chichen Itza results in a massive power vacuum across the better part of a continent and a half, if not the entire supernatural world.
    • In "The Warrior", Harry sees an electrician on Michael's construction crew about to go to work drunk. Harry hexes a transformer to blow out power to the construction site, stopping work until the man sobers up. Although Michael appreciates that Harry stopped the man, he points out that Harry simply could have told him about the situation.
      Harry: That's not how I roll.
      • Summed up perfectly a few lines later in the same story.
        Harry Dresden. Saving the world, one act of random destruction at a time.
  • Determined Defeatist: In the climax of nearly every novel, Harry has accepted that he'll most likely die, and sets out to accomplish his goal anyway, without factoring in his own survival. His survival ends up being ensured anyway, somehow or other. Usually.
    • Sometimes he survives and/or wins due to this, pulling off near-fatal gambits that no-one wishing to survive would do to defeat the villain. Sometimes the only thing preventing a Mutual Kill is The Cavalry.
  • Disappeared Dad: As of Changes, when he finds out about his daughter for the first time, though technically he's been one since Blood Rites.
  • Determinator:
    • He's usually been shot, stabbed, beaten, and kicked in the guts enough times to kill most men before the real fight even starts.
    • It's implied that being this is a prerequisite for being a powerful wizard. As one needs to wholly believe in their magic to do it, have the confidence and mind to not break under harsh circumstances or Seeing something that rapes the mind. He needs to hold it together.
  • Dramatic Irony: He is not an incubus, like his half-brother is, and yet both women he's had children with (Susan and Lash) are dead.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Harry becomes one of these to some of his enemies. At one point in Changes, when he encounters a Red Court vampire (who happens to be one of their oldest, deadliest, and most capable assassins), it panics and runs away screaming.
    • In the same book, when he barges in on a meeting, a Senior Council member orders the Wardens to escort him out. They were half a dozen of the old guard, each with decades of combat experience and centuries of training and skill to their names, individually. Harry simply asks if they're certain they want to do it. Every single one stops walking.
      • He also realizes that he's this to the Senior Council, when he considers what his accomplishments must look like to them from the outside in Turn Coat.
    • His literal genocide of the Red Court of vampires followed by taking up the Winter Knight mantle also leaves him this to the supernatural community, especially vampires who are already wary of him. Especially since he is expected to invoke this trope as the Winter Knight to keep both fae and non-fae in line. When he comes across a White Court vampire having kidnapped a little girl, he asks her to remember what happened the last time someone kidnapped a little girl he knew, and she cannot help but start to visibly tremble in fear.
    • Molly points out in Ghost Story that his reputation kept a lot of lesser supernatural nasties out of Chicago. Unfortunately, this means that after his death in Changes, the situation in the city deteriorates rapidly.
    • In Peace Talks, he very briefly connects his mind to that of the cornerhounds pursuing himself and Ebenezar. From their highly alien perspective, Harry takes on the image of a being made of pure light and dread, utterly terrifying them.
      • On a similar note to the above, he soulgazes a friggin' kraken in Battle Ground, and while he himself is terrified by the creature's alien mind, some part of him takes a smug bit of comfort from the fact that he can also tell that the kraken is scared of him, to.
  • Dreaded Kids' Party Entertainer Job: Harry Dresden, professional wizard, occasionally has to put on magic shows when his usual Occult Detective work dries up. In one short story he specifically mentions having exhausted his magic at a birthday party as a reason why he can't fight a troll.
  • Driven to Suicide: Harry in Changes. After being lied to by a Fallen about everything being his fault, he decides he would rather die than become Mab's creature.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Both played straight and averted. Harry has received a variety of sexual abuse from female characters. While he does suffer from mental trauma due to it, he never opens up about it to anyone, but that's presented as being more due to his lack of willingness to talk about his emotions than him expressing his emotions as being inherently wrong.
  • Enhanced Punch: Harry wears enchanted rings that sap a tiny amount of kinetic energy every time he moves his arm, to be released at his command. Fully charged, the rings can give him a punch strong enough to knock over a car. He originally wore one ring, but eventually went up to a whole fist full of them.
  • Elemental Powers: Naturally, a wizard can do all of them as part of their magic set, but individuals have different strengths. Harry specializes in a few; in Changes he notes that his mentor made him learn at least one spell from each of the four classical elements so that he'd have experience with all of them.
    • Playing with Fire: Harry's signature is fire. It's highly offensive magic (as Harry is reminded to his chagrin from time to time), and his blasting rod is a magical focus meant to use fire exclusively. It's later enhanced by Hellfire, one instance with Summer Fire, and then later he gains permanent access to Soulfire. Ironically, the power of the Winter Mantle can be used to empower his fire spells, and the effect mixes surprisingly well with Soulfire.
      • Lea even lampshades this at a couple of points.
        Lea: Honestly, child. There are elements other than fire, you know.
    • Pure Energy: His second most used spell is using kinetic force. While it was initially limited to storing it up using rings and could only release it with physical contact (i.e. a punch), he eventually gains enough control to shoot the energy stored up in his rings to good effect. He also can use it on a much smaller scale without his rings to mimic the effects of telekinesis.
      • Less flexibly used than fire, but certainly with almost as much frequency. Harry uses this to create his magic shield. Initially, it was useful in deflecting and absorbing kinetic energy (i.e. bullets and charging mooks), but barely surviving an encounter with Mavra and her flamethrower-wielding Renfields lead him to upgrading it to cover a fuller spectrum of harm, but it's more taxing on Harry. He usually compensates by raising it to cover quadrants and keeping tabs on when he needs to keep it up moment by moment. He can also form it into different shapes.
    • Blow You Away: Early in the series, Harry used a wind spell, mostly to manipulate the world around him before he got a good handle on kinetic energy. Because air magic isn't his strong point, his wind spell and similar magic has been mostly obsolete since, though they start to come back, for example in Skin Game, when he uses a Soulfire-infused cyclone in a duel with Hannah Ascher and then in Battle Ground, uses it again on Ethniu.
    • Gravity Master: Using earth magic, Harry has a spell where he can "borrow" gravity from a broad area for a moment and focus it into a much smaller area to create crushing g-force. It's one spell, and it takes some time to work it for an effect that lasts just a second or so, but it packs a serious punch. Enhanced by a Ley line, he can disable entire armies with it. Even without it, its capable of reducing Black Court vampires to Ludicrous Gibs and temporarily disabled Physical God Wyldfae Puck. A quick version can be used to temporarily incapacitate an army of ghouls, though only for a few seconds.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: Harry's self-admittedly weak element. So far he's seen making sinkholes under someone's feet or make a fissure to hide things, and neither were in pitched battle.
    • Magnetism Manipulation: Possible through the runes he engraved into his sword cane. Mavra was humiliated with it. However, it is quite taxing on him when it is used in battle.
    • Shock and Awe: Harry is capable of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique where he can channel real lightning through his body to hit targets - once used for taking out a demon sent by Victor Sells and on another occasion burns one of Winter Knight Lloyd Slate's arm into uselessness. He can generate a small ball of lightning in between his palms for Intimidation Demonstration, which can set on fire the trees it hits. He has once generated electric discharges from his body to subdue someone strangling him. He also pulled a Catch and Return on a lightning bolt hurled at him by a Red Court vampire using a staff.
    • An Ice Person: One of the effects of the Winter Mantle is that Harry gets much easier access to ice, an element he had access only by pulling energy out of the environment to freeze water. Now, Harry can just pull it up with as much effort as he could his fire.
    • Holy Hand Grenade: After he loses access to Hellfire, the Archangel Uriel covertly gives Harry access to Soulfire, the "fires of creation." It gives Harry the ability to infuse his magic with portions of his soul, being compared to combining concrete and rebar into something much stronger than either could be on their own (and also giving his magic a silvery glow when he uses it). Initially, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin, infusing Harry's fire magic and even leading him to accidentally creating a giant magical hand out of fire. Despite the name, he can use it with all of his spells to give them some extra punch, but it really comes into its own when creating something like an illusion or a construct, and of course when invoking Holy Burns Evil. The downside is that it still uses up bits of his soul, and that could be a real danger for Harry if he uses it too much without giving himself time to recover what was used up.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Can definitely come across as this due to having No Social Skills. For instance, his attempt at flirting with his physical therapist Sarissa in Cold Days has him awkwardly stammering for a bit before he grabs the nearest book to him and just weakly smiles at her while still holding the book up, causing her to burst out laughing.
  • Everyone Can See It: Harry's UST with Murphy, starting after his final breakup with Susan in Death Masks. Thomas and Mouse are both Shipper on Deck, and it gets to the point where someone comments on it almost every book. In Skin Game, Nicodemus leverages it along with Karrin's Violently Protective Girlfriend streak to advance his schemes, and Harry's own Id asks him straight out "Why the hell haven't you banged Murphy?" Notably, Harry just awkwardly stammers before barking "Look, just fuck off!"
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Even more than the other fictional wizard named Harry, who is famous for it. Harry has collected a battery of scars which would leave a medical professional squeamish.
  • Evil Counterpart: Cowl of the Black Council is shaping up to be this for him.
  • Eyes Always Averted: He always tries to avoid eye contact, since for a wizard, direct eye contact starts a soulgaze, or a direct experience of that person's innermost character. The memory of a soulgaze never fades, and the experience can be fairly traumatic. This trope is averted with people like Susan, Ebenezar, and Marcone, whom he's already soulgazed.
  • Famed in Story:
    • It's gotten to the point where nasties rarely come to Chicago unless he's a specific part of their plans, since they know it's a bit of a death sentence, and the other Wardens are scared to attack him when they outnumber him six to one (and these are some of the oldest and strongest veterans from the Vampire War) and have three members of the Senior Council with them (all three of whom, Harry notes, can tie him in knots single-handedly), and he can barely stand.
    • Those nasties by the way? We can add Nicodemus to the list of things that are afraid of Harry. According to Word Of Jim, Nicodemus is now terrified of Harry. Let me repeat that. Nicodemus, the two thousand year old man who is allied with a fallen angel and has been fighting Holy Knights and the various supernatural entities in the world for literally thousands of years, is now terrified of a wizard less than forty years old. Though in fairness, this is a perfectly understandable response, regardless of Power Level, when the wizard has nearly strangled you to death mercilessly with his bare hands twice.
    • As a result of all this, he's pretty much the Champion of Chicago. No small-time mage or other supernatural creature would start anything serious for fear that the wrath of Dresden would come down upon them. His death was far more destructive than he knew.
    • Stories of his exploits also stretch to the Nevernever, in particular a certain tale involving a doughnut that had all of the Summer Fae laughing for months. And according to Small Favor, stories of his underdog exploits are spoken of in a similar fashion among the Fae as bedtime stories are among humans.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: In Summer Knight Martha Liberty says his eyes resemble his mother. Same as Thomas.
  • Fatal Flaw: As befitting any noir protagonist, Harry has several.
    • Lust, which is probably Harry's most infamous and obvious flaw. While it's primarily displayed in his copious Male Gaze and bad habit of unintentionally talking down to women when he's not taking them seriously (though granted, the latter in particular has significantly lessened as the series has gone on), it manifests in a miriad of ways, such as:
      • His old-fashioned chivalry. He is a sucker for a Damsel in Distress. As of later books he seems to be getting over this, at least in the Wouldn't Hit a Girl sense, thanks in part because many of his deadly enemies have been of the female sex, including Aurora, Lara, Lasciel, Diedre, Rosana, Mab, Titania, Mother Winter, Tessa, the Corpsetaker, Duchess Arianna, and Maeve.
      • Temptation to and lust for power is another deep-rooted flaw. Harry used Black Magic at a young age, and the power of dark magic still tugs at him. He knows very well that he would have far less trouble in fighting villains if he used it. In more than a few cases, the temptation of power has snuck in when he least expected it, causing him to do more damage than he intended or get distracted by the raw joy of using that power. Lasciel's influence may have had some effect on this as well.
    • Pride is Harry's other main flaw. Due to severe self-esteem/abandonment issues, he has a nasty Inferiority Superiority Complex, which has really screwed him over multiple times. He constantly holds himself to such impossibly high standards and measures that even Michael Carpenter can scarcely believe, but also typically views himself as the only proper arbiter concerning the supernatural. After all, it wasn't until Summer Knight when he finally opened up to Murphy and told her about the greater supernatural world.
      • As part of his arrogance and typically assuming that he knows best for whatever situation, Harry faces a long-term issue of acting without thinking or considering the consequences of his actions, with it ultimtely coming to a head over the course of Changes and Ghost Story. Letting his emotions decide his actions in such a manner becomes a serious enough flaw that he even exploits the expectation of it in Small Favor.
      • Subsequent to this, he also has a bad habit of mouthing off to authority/powerful figures when he really should just keep his trap shut. This is generally done to suppress or hide his own fear. And regardless of the reason, at times Reality Ensues in him being on the receiving end of a thorough asskicking, reminding him why the trope of Do Not Taunt Cthulhu exists.
      • His refusal to tell his friends and allies about important, potentially life threatening, information. It was worse early on to the point Murphy has him arrested out of sheer frustration but it's still a recurring flaw. For example, if Harry had told Thomas about the deal with Mab, he could have talked Harry out of being Driven to Suicide.
      • His above-mentioned communication issues somehow manage to only get even worse in Peace Talks when Ebenezer grows hostile over Thomas knowing about Harry's daughter Maggie, being understandably paranoid about another White Court vampire getting so close to his family and unaware that Thomas is also his grandson. Harry could at least have attempted to tell Ebenezar the truth early on but doesn't until a critical moment and it ends with their relationship apparently shattered when Ebenezar accidentally kills Harry's doppelganger in the process of trying to kill Thomas. There's also a moment when Ramirez and several of the other Wardens corner Harry and question him, since they detected he's recently had sex with a spell and his last location was Lara Raith's house; understandably, they're worried that the White Court have been trying to enthrall him. Instead of telling them the truth — that the sex was with Murphy — Harry gets foolishly defensive and refuses to answer one way or the other, which just makes him look even more suspicious in the eyes of the White Council. In Battle Ground all of the aforementioned kerfuffle ultimately results in both the White Council voting to eject him and Ramirez ending their friendship, since he's sick of being kept in the dark or rebuffed when he tries to help.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • While not to the level of being genuinely bigoted, Harry is none too fond of vampires due to them being behind most of the miseries in his life. However, to the supernatural community he plays this trope straight due to having slaughtered the entire Red Court, when it was mainly self-defense.
    • Played completely straight against ghouls, with Harry himself comparing it to Ebenezar's fervent hatred for White Court vampires. Ghouls, especially of the LaChaise clan, are his most recurring enemies and have resulted in the most number of deaths of the people he was protecting. However, the tipping point was when a group of ghouls killed and ate some trainee Wardens in his care. Harry has since then carried a burning hatred for them and will never let any ghoul stupid enough to cross his path leave his presence alive if he has anything to say about it. As Thomas tells in "Backup":
      Thomas: My brother hates the creatures [ghouls] with a passion so pure that it’s almost holy.
  • Fearless Fool: Averted thoroughly. Harry is of the opinion Fear Is the Appropriate Response, though he pretends to be this trope.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: A big part of the White Council's philosophy on apprenticeship and developing as a Wizard is learning by figuring out some things for oneself. Harry's understanding of how magic works in his world is incomplete. This is because he really wasn't taught or trusted by the most knowledgeable. Those who do know refrain from telling him because they believe it is important that he figure things out on his own.
    Does Harry have an incorrect understanding of the Darkhallow and other parts of the world?
    Butcher: Oh god yes. I won't say Harry is clueless, but his understanding of lots of things including the way that magic works is incomplete in many ways. If only because he hasn't been trusted by a lot of the wizarding community by a lot of the people who could have taught him better. And a lot of the people who do know better aren't correcting him because they think it's important to learn these things on your own.
    • As part of her apprenticeship, he gave Molly the task of magically making a string stand straight up and the beads on it rise to the top. For a green newbie like Molly, it would seem unreasonable and next to impossible, but the lesson was that it wasn't about magical muscle as much as that she needed to be in the right frame of mind to effectively use magic.
  • First-Person Smartass: To the point that one of his defining traits in the Dresden Files RPG is "Epic Wiseass." In the Paranet Papers supplement, he fittingly gets upgraded to "Legendary Wiseass".
  • Food as Characterization: Harry Dresden is a Blue-Collar Warlock with little disposable income whose tastes run in two directions - a magical Truce Zone pub with top-notch steak sandwiches and phenomenal beer, and fast food. In Changes, he insists on meeting The Don Johnny Marcone at a Burger King.
  • For the Lulz: Could be the poster boy for this. For instance, as noted above, he insisted on meeting with Marcone in a Burger King because "I just want to see him there."
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Harry's massive and frequently self-handicapping anti-authority streak, along with his hideous abandonment issues, is because of having had to grow up in the foster care system before being taken in by the despicably ruthless and abusive warlock Justin DuMorne. The fact that Harry had to eventually kill in self-defense the first caregiver since his biological father that appeared to genuinely love him only further added to his distrust and contempt for authority figures.
      • Additionally, Harry killing Justin using magic has forever tainted him (however subtly) with Black Magic, giving Harry an unhealthy lust for control over others and him frequently getting Drunk with Power whenever it gets too much for him.
    • Relatedly, Harry's rather idiotically chivalrous view of women and low-level sexism is because of the only female authority figure for most of his life being his utterly insane Fairy Godmother the Leansidthe. Furthermore, his psycho-sexual development with his First Love Elaine was intentionally manipulated by DuMorne as part of his goal in turning the two of them into Laser Guided Tykebombs. The fact that he was later raised by Ebenezar McCoy (who fought in the French and Indian War) likely didn't help matters.
  • Friend to All Children: No matter how intimidating Harry may be to grown-ups, he is never anything but sweet and kind to young people, treating them seriously and enjoying spending time with them.
  • Full-Contact Magic: He's no Squishy Wizard, except in a Puny Earthlings sense. For all the chucking fire around, he's quite likely to slug someone. Or shoot them.
  • Freak Out: Undergoes a subtle and prolonged one in Changes, culminating in being Driven to Suicide. Eventually, he gets better.
  • Game Face: Unknown by Harry himself, but Murphy spends some time reflecting on how he normally seems versus how he gets in a fight. He goes from quirky, gangling nerd to confident, scary badass with the power of the universe at his fingers. Or as Maggie puts it when he sensed Black Magic in the area:
    My dad’s head shot up like Mouse when he smells lighter fluid at the Carpenter’s house, and his eyes flicked around him like a big, hungry bear looking for something to tear into.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Boy howdy is Harry this trope. Harry will go out of his way to be kind and caring to any child who crosses his path, is Nice to the Waiter regarding the Little Folk (with most other supernatural entities treating them at best with active disdain), took time out of his journey to find his own killer to help make sure a young homeless kid and his friends were safe from their cult leader boss, and will even shovel his elderly landlady's sidewalk in winter. He will also exterminate an entire race of monsters who try to hurt his daughter, nearly burned off his apprentice's face to teach her humility and that what they were involved in wasn't a game, pulverized a Denarian's legs and one hand after he surrendered to get information, and killed one of the Faerie Queens by having a group of pixies armed with box cutters made of Cold Iron essentially shred her to ribbons.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Small Favor includes a partial listing of his (large) collection and he acquires more after that, including some very noticeable ones on his face in Turn Coat.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Harry starts to realize how much he cares about Murphy in Blood Rites after he sees her around Kincaid and realizes how jealous he's getting.
  • Handicapped Badass: Getting his arm burned nearly to a crisp in Blood Rites didn't slow him down much, and he still had limited use in Dead Beat, wherein one of the most badass moments in the entire series happened.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Harry's a Deconstructive Parody of the archetype. Yes, he's a world-weary, cynical, sarcastic, and tough-as-nails alcoholic detective with his own Private Eye Monologue, but he's also quite Endearingly Dorky (resulting in several Failed Attempts at Drama when his attempts to act like a smooth and confident detective fall flat because to him doing something absolutely ridiculous at the same time) and is trying to intentionally come across as a badass heroic detective due to his inner geek.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: It's almost never touched on thanks to both the series being from his own heavily Self Deprecatory perspective and that he's always going to be inevitably compared to his literal incubus of an older brother, but Harry can actually look very handsome when he has the time to put in the effort. It's perhaps most apparent in Skin Game, where despite her hating his guts Hannah Ascher still took the time to admire Harry's Heroic Build when he was changing into his tuxedo in preparation for part of their heist.
  • Healing Factor: A very, very slow one- improved bodily regeneration is the reason wizards live so long, and it means he can eventually recover from what should be permanent injuries. Now enhanced as of Changes, one of the many benefits of becoming the Winter Knight.
  • Heartbroken Badass: At a few points, particularly the start of Summer Knight and the end of both Changes and Battle Ground.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Frequently says that he's not a good man, holds himself to a nigh-impossible moral standard (Michael gently but firmly calls him out on this in Skin Game), and when someone gives him a What the Hell, Hero?/The Reason You Suck speech, he rarely disagrees, even if it's only partially true.
  • Heroic Willpower: Harry has been tempted many a time to use dark magic and resists each temptation. Through this will power, he not only endures the mental manipulations of Lasciel's shadow, he turns around and slowly changes her to the point where she is willing to die for Harry Dresden. Later in Cold Days he endured and broke Mother Winter's bind on him, and later shattered a Mind Rape upon him and forced an Outsider to name itself.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted. Harry once had a sword cane, and while his physique gave him a lunge with some distance, he wasn't too skilled with it, and it was simply impractical if he couldn't solve his problems with staff, blasting rod, and revolver. The events of Dead Beat left Harry owed a sword, but unable to get one. And finally, Harry simply won't be receiving any sword from Mab, like Fix got from Titania.
    Jim Butcher: What's he gonna do with a sword? He'll cut himself. Honestly, if he had a sword he'd fall on it, you know he would. Somebody would take it away from him and hit him with it. That's the kind of thing that happens.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Played with. It's parodied in the sense that, rather than most examples of this trope giving the Hero a really cool classic car, Harry drives a classic VW Bug he calls the "Blue Beetle". Not really a cool car to begin with; and then consider that it starts pretty lived in, runs rather poorly, and keeps getting battle scars and differently-colored replacement parts over the years (including an encircled 53 graffitied onto the hood). Then again, classic cars are Justified in that wizards mess mightily with modern electronics, so wizards like Harry cannot drive any car newer than roughly the 1970's for very long before they stop working.
    • Harry finally got it played straight in Turn Coat when Lara Raith lends Harry one of her family's cars, a mint condition 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith (of course) which had a pristine white paint job. Harry was more than a little impressed with it.
    • And again in Cold Days when Mab gives him a retrofitted Oldsmobile Hearse painted dark blue with a neon purple flame decal. Of course, thanks to Harry being a Cosmic Plaything, it gets wrecked within a few chapters when Ace tries to blow up Harry, and it gets sent to Mike the Mechanic. The newly refitted vehicle comes out as a hotrod, and is immediately dubbed the Munstermobile.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • To the "straights" he's at best a quirky man who knows way too much and thus is pretty damned creepy, and at worst they see him as delusional or a charlatan who may or may not be conning Chicago PD out of good money. And so, Internal Affairs, Detective Rudolph in particular, rabidly hates him and tried to jail him at least once, while trying to undermine him and everyone connected to him repeatedly.
    • The FBI suspects him of secretly being a dangerous criminal, considering that one time four FBI agents investigated him and vanished a few days later, and his criminal record suspects him of kidnapping, murder, and at least two cases of arson, and he was accused of blowing up another building. At least Agent Tilly is willing to deal straight with Harry, and in no small part because Rudolph was trying so hard to nail Harry with a false indictment. Generally speaking, Harry has problems involving Jurisdiction Friction when he takes cases outside Chicago.
    • To the White Council, however, he is considered a loose cannon who may or may not be a devious, dangerous schemer at Black Magic, and it doesn't help that he caused a war with the Red Court of vampires, and then a war with the Fomor, by creating a power vacuum in his genocide of the Red Court. It gets taken Up to Eleven in Peace Talks, when he creates the appearance multiple times of him having sex with Lara Raith (primarily to serve as a distraction from their interference but also motivated by his utter disdain for them), culminating (at least in part) in Battle Ground where he's booted out of the organization altogether.
    • His ostensible allies usually don't trust him, and the only people he's got on his side are a gaggle of werewolves, the Knights, a few members of the Chicago PD's Special Investigations unit, his half-brother, his apprentice, a Foo dog, and a smattering of allies in the Faerie Courts and the White Council. And knowing Harry, being homeless and dead for half a year causes even more problems.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In Ghost Story, Harry comes to realize that the lines he crossed in Changes made him into the very things he was fighting. And then later in the same book, realizes that this conclusion was an overreaction to one bad decision and that he's still fundamentally a good guy.
  • Hidden Depths: Not only is he pretty surprisingly cultured for someone who never even finished high school (he can quote Scripture fairly well for someone who views himself as a "theological Switzerland"), but he's also remarkably intelligent and wise, frequently catching his enemies off guard by showing himself as a dangerously manipulative Guile Hero and adaptable Combat Pragmatist rather than the Dumb Muscle Person of Mass Destruction most villains see him as at first glance. And while he may not notice it all that much, he's also really overdramatic and loves to make a Big Entrance while being as comically petty as possible to even his ostensible allies. He's also not only protective of his friends and allies in combat, but tries to look out for them on an emotional level as well; when the werewolf GM of his regular Arcanos campaign is killed in Turn Coat, he recruits Butters to take over GM duties, so that it becomes a way of remembering Kirby, rather than being buried with him.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Despite the fact that he sometimes laments that he doesn't have much of a love life, Harry is more unwilling to date the women in his life rather than unable, due to his personal hangups and issues. While he had steady relationship with Elaine, Susan and Luccio over his lifetime, and has had years of Will They or Won't They? with Murphy, over the years Harry has had plenty of moments of female attention from the likes of Lara Raith, Inari Raith, Justine, Lash, Mab, Maeve, Aurora, Molly, Sigrun, Andi, and various bad guys. Though most cases of that last one was either with manipulation in mind, or just plain crazy.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's snarky enough that it isn't immediately apparent, but just watch him react to challenges and/or slurs. In fact, the villains who are targeting Harry specifically (instead of just being unlucky enough to get in his way) often deliberately take advantage of his tendency toward this, to the point that Harry himself turns the Flaw Exploitation right back around in one villain's face.
  • Honor Before Reason: Harry will swear up and down that he's an Anti-Hero, but he's kind of exaggerating. Then again, he has been repeatedly told he's a menace to society and been treated like a terrible person for most of his life, so it's possible he might have started believing everyone's bad opinion.
  • Hope Bringer: In Ghost Story Molly notes that he was this for the little guy in the supernatural world. He scared off so many powerful dark things from Chicago and as a Warden, taught the Paranetters how to band together to be able to take on stronger forces.
  • Houseboat Hero: At the end of Changes, he's briefly this before he's assassinated.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: He's about 6' 8", and Murphy, not an inch over 5 feet, supplies the "tiny girl" part. According to Welcome to the Jungle, he's six-foot-nine, actually. Everyone supplies the "tiny girl" part. Except maybe Gard. And Titania and Mab when it suits them.
  • Human Weapon: As the Winter Knight, Harry is expected to be his own most dangerous weapon, not needing to rely on magical trinkets and items to survive. That said, Mab has nothing against using them if it makes the job easier, just so long as they aren't a crutch.
  • Hurting Hero: With his parents' deaths, loss of a childhood friend, forced to murder one parental substitute, lived in fear of summary execution for several years, got a girl but lost her, got close to another but she didn't want to get serious, had another girl really close and they started to become genuine friends when she died to protect him, and many other emotional traumas. Lara puts it succinctly in Turn Coat:
    Lara Raith: You wear your pain as armor.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • He will act mysterious and enigmatic, citing it as a wizard's prerogative, in order to mess with Thomas, Molly, or Murphy, but then complains when the Gatekeeper or Mother Summer and Winter act mysterious and enigmatic towards him.
    • Similarly, Harry also loves to give lip to authority figures... and yet hates it when his apprentice, friends, and other allies snark back at him.
    • Furthermore, Dresden (a major source of the Male Gaze) gets very flustered in Skin Game when Hannah Ascher blatantly leers at his Heroic Build when the two of them are changing into fancy dress clothes.
  • I Am Not a Gun: He often reminds the various more powerful beings trying to manipulate him that he is their employee, not their pawn.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: A promise to Mab keeps him from knowingly seeking suicide to get out of being the Winter Knight. He tried to get around it by anticipating the deal and arranging the hit before the promise was made, and then having Molly make him forget about the hit.
  • Idiot Hero: Harry's tendency to not think the long-term consequences of his actions through can leave this impression. He's not stupid in any sense of the word, but he sometimes gets in over his head due to his habit of acting first and thinking later, though he grows out of this. Some of his enemies consider him one as well, but they usually discover a bit too late that he's much smarter than they gave him credit for.
    Lloyd Slate: Spooky, he doesn't look all that smart.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: While he tends to be Distracted by the Sexy often, he is still capable of this. Most notably, both he and Marcone are the first two men to ever directly rebuff Lara Raith in the same century.
  • Improvisational Ingenuity: Dresden is a decent powerhouse by about the 5th or 6th title, but his real advantage is that he's very intelligent and good at analyzing his opponents, then crafting ways to defeat them using tactics that they absolutely would not have predicted. He's taken down a fairy queen by arming a bunch of pixies with boxcutters, whomped a necromancer that was much stronger than he was by bringing along a zombie tyrannosaurus, and is apparently the only person who ever figured out that Nicodemus can be harmed by his own noose.
  • Indy Ploy: He often does these in the first few books, and though he later starts to prefer Xanatos Speed Chess he's still pretty good at pulling off one of these in a pinch.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Collects this like candy due to his It's All My Fault attitude.
  • Informed Loner: Harry thinks and reacts to problem as though he were entirely alone and unloved, but events in the series have rendered this attitude increasingly invalid. This is because, before Ebenezar started mentoring him, he basically was alone. A big part of his Character Development has been realizing that he has people he can rely on.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Rather ironically for The Gadfly, Harry can piss someone off more when he's actually trying to be nice to them and isn't trying to be his usual status of "insufferable wiseass." Not only is their his long-running tradition of bone-headed chivalry towards women (with Murphy often mocking him about it), but he almost instantly gets on the Genoskwa's bad side in Skin Game when he brings up River Shoulders to the murderous Bigfoot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He considers it "the prerogative of wizards to be grumpy." Especially true during Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, and White Night, when he has a Fallen Angel slowly goading him towards evil. At the same time, though, he'll go through Hell to protect a friend, or even an old enemy who needs his help, or any random women and children who happen to be around.
  • Kill It with Fire: Harry can bring a lot of power to bear with fire magic, and it's his usual go-to for combat evocation. Many supernatural baddies either outright cannot withstand fire or have a healthy respect for it as it is a natural cleansing element. This served as a plot-point-by-omission when he doesn't try to Kill It With Fire during most of Small Favor and also served as character-development-by-omission in Dead Beat.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Harry's landlady considers him this. It's one of the reasons she hasn't thrown him out after missing rent checks and "wild late-night parties."
  • Lady and Knight: Becomes this to Molly after the events of Cold Days.
  • Large Ham: Harry can be really overdramatic and petty when he wants to, as shown when he intentionally hams it up as part of a gambit for tricking Nicodemus and the other senior Denarians in Small Favor while he's actually scouting their base.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Quite literally. Lash does this so that the part of Harry's brain that have her impressed upon them will be burned out when Harry goes under psychic attack. She does however leave him a gift of the knowledge of how to play guitar.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In a really twisted sense, he suffers from this a few times after he's done really horrible things to villains in service of a greater good. For instance, after he brutally cripples Quintus Cassius in Death Masks to stop Nicodemus from releasing a second Black Death, Cassius comes back in Dead Beat and nearly tortures Harry to death until Butters and Mouse rescue him at the proverbial last second.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In Dead Beat, he points out to Luccio that the Fifth Law of Magic (the one against necromancy) only applies to human dead.
    • He invoked this plus Exact Words at Molly's trial in Proven Guilty. He pointed out that the whole of the Senior Council present hadn't voted. Since it was only Rashid and the Merlin present, the Merlin would be the default proxy if the others were absent and hadn't made arrangements, giving his vote the added weight of the five who weren't present. The Merlin was willing follow protocol and wait for Rashid to vote, even though it was a forgone conclusion that the majority vote of one favored death. They couldn't touch Molly until all voted. Rashid stalled long enough that Michael arrived with McCoy and all of the Council recruits that he saved, giving Harry the leverage he needed to convince the Merlin to change his vote.
    • He also uses this, again crossed with Exact Words in Small Favor, to avoid getting slaughtered by Eldest Gruff. The Eldest Gruff mentioned that he serves the Summer Court and then the Summer Queen, and Harry reasoned that the Eldest Gruff killing him when he still had a favor to call upon would look poorly on Summer. The Eldest Gruff agreed but points out that a single favor didn't carry enough leverage to spare his life. Harry still works this to his advantage by cashing the favor and requesting a doughnut. They shared a good laugh over the matter, and Eldest Gruff left to fulfill the favor. The got Eldest Gruff out of the picture (or rather, allowed him to leave it) long enough for Harry to end the situation and the hit on him from Summer. In this case, it works mostly because the Eldest Gruff wasn't under orders and not that keen on killing Harry anyways and thus is willing to play along.
  • Made of Iron: By the climax of every single book, Harry's pretty much always running on too little sleep and several injuries, but keeps going anyway.
  • Mage Marksman: He routinely uses guns in combination with his magical tools. When confronted by a group of wannabe warlocks, their leader is incredulous that Harry would use "mortal weapons." It says a lot that the guy didn't merit a visit from the Wardens, nor was he familiar enough with them to know that their traditional swords and combat magic are complemented with automatic firearms and grenades.
  • Magic Fire: Harry Dresden frequently throws around mundane, if magically-conjured and -sustained, fire. But after bonding with the Genius Loci of Demonreach, his flames are green.
  • Magnetic Hero: Not that Harry realizes it but over the course of the series he has won the friendship of the Alphas, the Carpenter family, the Knights of the Cross, Lash, Butters, the respect of John Marcone who often aids him, Rashid the Gatekeeper, Listens to Wind, many young Wardens as well as their leader, and so many others in the mortal and supernatural community and many of them would aid him without hesitation. Not bad for a guy who started out with only Murphy, Bob and Mister.
  • Male Gaze: Harry notices women who look good, to the point that one review site named the "Dresden Goggles" trope after him. Part of it is an element of The Dresden Files being a Genre Throwback to the pulpy detective noir novels of the 1930s and 1940s, but even then Harry is a Chivalrous Pervert, and it varies in blatancy depending on the book. This is one of his big character flaws and blind spots, and is explained as being due to a mix of factors, most prominently his immensely screwed-up upbringing, which involved both the deliberate manipulation of his sexual development and the complete lack of a maternal figure.
  • Manly Tears: Averted. Harry has described himself to sobbing or blubbering several times. Probably the most noteworthy and heartwrenching cases of this trope in action are in Skin Game (where he absentmindedly notes that he's crying as he's walking up to the Carpenters' home) and in Battle Ground (where he's reduced to Inelegant Blubbering after Butters talks him down from vengefully murdering Ruduloph for accidentally killing Murphy and he basically collapses in Butter's arms).
  • Meaningful Name: invoked Malcolm Dresden was a stage magician, and thus named his son after three of the greatest stage magicians in history. Consider not only how many seemingly-impossible situations Harry's escaped from, but also how his greatest weapons are his shrewd intellect, trickery, and deceit, always finishing his stratagems from an unexpected angle. Out-of-universe, his last name was also chosen in reference to the (in)famous fire bombings of the German city of Dresden in World War II by the Allied Powers, mostly because Harry has a similar effect on nearby buildings.
  • Men Don't Cry: He generally believes this and adamantly tries not to cry a lot of the time, but usually isn't that successful and is instead reduced to Manly Tears more often than not.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • By Butters in Dead Beat with Thomas as his lover.
    • Later takes advantage of this in White Night to sneak into Thomas' apartment. And once word passed to SI, they were merciless... particularly Murphy.
  • Mr. Seahorse: He gets pregnant with a spirit of intellect, like Bob, born from Lash's sacrifice. If not for Molly "delivering" it, it would have popped out of his mind in the same vein of Athena out of Zeus, only his head wouldn't have healed up afterwards.
  • Moment of Weakness:
    • Harry's breakdown when talking with Aurora in Summer Knight and his realization of how much he let Susan's suffering damage his own life.
    • Harry is forced to admit to Lash's growing influence when such a moment causes pointless collateral damage in White Night.
    • After one of the Fallen whispers one last comment of overly harsh Self-Deprecation into his mind during Changes, he falls down the Despair Event Horizon and arranges his own suicide with both Molly and Kincaid's help after he decides to finally accept Mab's offer of becoming the new Winter Knight.
    • The realization that his actions have such tremendous long-term consequences, including breaking Molly's mind causes another one in Ghost Story.
    • In Skin Game, a particularly strong one led Harry to Michael Carpenter's door. There's a reason Harry refers to Michael as a "good man."
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: Had an ultimately tragic relationship with his first girlfriend Elaine Mallory, an ultimately even more tragic on-off relationship with tabloid reporter Susan Rodriguez, and has had a star-crossed will-they-or-won't-they with Karrin Murphy for some time, which also ends badly.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Proven Guilty has just such a moment. Yes, it's awesome that he kills a xenomorph with Hellfire, but immediately after, he finds that the girl he was rescuing from it had bled to death, and he might have saved her life if he hadn't been focused so much on, and having so much fun with, obliterating the monster.
    • He's sickened in White Night when he learns that after he granted Lash the gift of free will through his Affectionate Nickname for her, she used it to essentially kill herself as part of a Heroic Sacrifice on his behalf. Even though he knew that she was a literal copy of a Fallen Angel planted in his mind for the sole purpose of tempting him into a Face–Heel Turn, he still can't help but feel like he basically just talked someone into committing suicide.
      Bob: You gave her a Name, Harry. The [free] will just came with it.
      Harry: (after a brief silence) And she used it to kill herself.
      Bob: Sort of. [...] She took a psychic bullet for you. I guess it's almost the same thing as choosing to die.
      Harry: (now starting to tear up) No, it isn't. She didn't choose to die. She chose to be free.
    • A completely heartbreaking example in Changes, where he kills Susan to save both their daughter and the entire world from the Red Court:
      I used the knife.
      I saved a child.
      I won a war.
      God forgive me.
    • A significant part of Ghost Story hinges on Harry realizing just how horrible the consequences of his choices were, especially after he learns that he was the one who arranged for his death and even had Molly assist him. This revelation shakes him to the core, to the point where in one part of the novel, he seriously considers jumping into a river (which would subject him to a Cessation of Existence). That being said, he does later realize that these terrible acts don't necessarily condemn him to Hell so long as he keeps striving to improve and make amends, and as Michael later directly tells him in Skin Game, the fact that he still feels legitimate guilt over these actions is the most important indication that he's not really doomed to be a monster.
    • He's travelled on planes three times. The third time it interfered with the plane's navigation systems. While they managed to land safely without anyone getting hurt or any damage, Harry feels quite guilty over it.
  • Nay-Theist: He acknowledges the likelihood of the Almighty's existence and is very much likely an insanely powerful being. Doesn't mean Harry will be penitent to the being. However, this has more to do with Harry's self-image and low self-esteem than his views on God. It's not that Harry doesn't like or respect God, it's that he feels unworthy to be on God's team. There's every evidence that God doesn't necessarily agree. Of course, Harry's standard for worthy behavior is Michael Carpenter, who sets the bar kind of high.
    Harry: The Almighty and I don't exactly see eye-to-eye.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • While he only did it because his back was against the wall, he helped the dangerously competent and manipulative Lara Raith perform a coup d'etat on her weakened father Lord Raith in Blood Rites. Ever since then, the White Court has moved away from its previous isolation and has become ever more active, powerful, and dangerous in the world at large. Harry even notes this in White Night, wondering at one point if he ultimately did the world a disservice by helping Lara make her father her Puppet King.
    • By killing the entire Red Court, he created an Evil Power Vacuum that various baddies (most prominently the Fomor) are trying to fill, and with his (temporary) death he wasn't immediately there to help his friends. His arranged suicide also unfortunately sent the message to his brother Thomas that Harry would rather die than be "a monster" like him. And since the spell used to kill the Red Court was indiscriminate, it also killed a lot of good people in the Fellowship of St. Giles who just happened to be part-Red Court vampire, eventually causing Hannah Ascher to seek revenge on him in Skin Game.
    • A combination of becoming the Winter Knight, his general attitude as The Last DJ, and his later refusal to give the Wardens anything resembling a straight answer regarding what he's been up to with Lara Raith in Peace Talks inevitably leads to the White Council declaring him persona non grata in the following book.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • It even becomes significant in-story on occasion; his naming of Ivy and Lash gave them identities separate from the Archive and Lasciel, respectively, and naming Bob allowed him to develop a different personality as well. It's implied that this will also happen with Alfred Demonreach.
    • And when he calls Uriel "Uri", it ticks off (and terrifies) an archangel who has the power to unmake galaxies. That last syllable is a very important part of his name - it's the "God" part of "Light of God". On the other hand, he has no problem with Mr. Sunshine, especially given his association with fire and sunlight.
  • Not So Different: Cold Days has Mab accuse him (for an arguable value of "accusation") of being this to his late master Justin in how he indoctrinated Molly into being a Wizard who's loyal and willing to die for him at the same time he helped her to develop her talents to the point she became a powerful ally of his. None of this was ever his intention, but she's not exactly wrong.
  • Oblivious to Love: Harry can be... a bit dense when it comes to women. He's not oblivious to sex, he understands that perfectly. It's just that he has a few self-esteem issues. And a tendency to attribute others' seduction attempts to their own problems or secret plots to control him (which, in all fairness, they usually are). And difficulty with understanding or recognizing subtlety. And all of that factors into how he communicates with and interprets other people.
    Thomas: What does a woman need to do, Harry? Rip her clothes off, throw herself on top of you, and shimmy while screaming, "Do me, baby!"?!
  • Occult Detective: Easily one of the most iconic examples, even if the series itself has gradually focused less on his detective business and more on the greater supernatural world & his place in it. Many times, Harry's cleverness and skill in deductive reasoning has proved to be a far greater weapon than any amount of fire or ice he can summon to hand.
  • Odd Friendship: Has formed a lot of these due to the wide diversity of weird contacts he's garnered throughout both the supernatural and mortal worlds. Probably the most surprising case is that which he gained with Lash, with him eventually developing a remarkable level of camaraderie with the literal copy of a Fallen Angel stuck inside his head, to the point where she performs a genuine Heel–Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice on his behalf (much to Harry's shock and genuine grief).
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Played for Laughs in Blood Rites; When he, a Snark Knight par excellance who regards virtually any authority figure place in front of him with at best active disdain, actually calls Ebenezar McCoy "Sir", Murphy drops her duffle bag in shock and then proceeds to treat McCoy like he's the Pope.
    • His trauma from Mavra's flamethrower attack on him in Blood Rites actually renders him pyrophobic for the events of Dead Beat, with him not performing a single fire spell until the last two pages of the whole book.
    • Him gradually taking more and more levels in Jerkassery, along with gaining a pretty significant Hair-Trigger Temper during both Proven Guilty and White Night, turns out to be Lash's subtle influence.
    • His complete absence of fire magic (his Signature Move) throughout most of Small Favor seriously freaks out his allies, to the point that it turns out to be evidence of him having been Mind Raped by Mab into forgetting about his blasting rod to help keep the Summer Court off his trail. Additionally, he's so scared out of his mind when Mab personally shows up to talk him into performing one of his favors to her, he initially can't even speak, much less snark.
  • One-Man Army: He has the highest known "monsters killed/time" ratio on the entire White Council, except probably for Ebenezar.note 
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Harry's shot at the end of Changes and falls into Lake Michigan. It's been confirmed that he's dead. Though as he was Only Mostly Dead, he gets better.
  • Papa Wolf: Few things make him madder than threatening or actually harming children. Along comes Changes...and let's just say that no one would be making any attempts on Harry's daughter any time soon should Harry still be alive.
    • In Skin Game, Nicodemus tries. And runs away screaming in both terror and rage, having lost his squires, and gained a new Knight of the Cross to fight him. So after that, it's even more unlikely that anyone will mess with her. His inner self also furiously demands Harry needs to protect his daughter Bonea (a.k.a. the "Parasite"), simply growling "Protect the offspring" to Harry after the bombshell is dropped on him.
  • Parental Favoritism: A downplayed and justified case. Generally speaking, from Peace Talks and onwards, he shows more concern and care for Maggie's well-being than Bonea's, but this is because Bonea technically has Complete Immortality and cannot be easily "killed" in comparison to the mortal Maggie. Furthermore, he can't be more public in how he acts with Bonea like he can with Maggie due to the... "unique" circumstances involving her birth and subsequent existence. Battle Ground also defies this when he decides to use Bob instead of Bonea in the binding ritual for Ethniu at least in part because he doesn't want to expose her to the carnage of war-torn Chicago and put her at risk of being hurt by Enthiu.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Usually seen scowling, snarling, glowering, or frowning.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Highly prevalent in the first few books, but begins to be mitigated as the series progresses, especially once Harry starts getting a regular paycheck as a Warden. Nicodemus and others note that this may be by Harry's choice as he could make money a lot of ways using magic but instead, he keeps to the streets helping the poor people who have no where else to go. This is possibly ended after Skin Game, unless his share of the heist gets lost (which would be just his luck, honestly).
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He's one of the strongest wizards in the world, and has demolished numerous buildings along with at one point essentially "deleting" a whole supernatural empire that had geopolitical power on par with the Real Life Soviet Union. Murphy's narration in "Aftermath" highlights that even when he's on your side, Harry's absolutely terrifying, inspiring a level of fear that makes vanilla mortals like her "feel like a casualty of evolution."
    • Fuck with Harry Dresden, and he will blow you up. Fuck with his apprentices, and he will set your internal organs on fire while you're still alive. Fuck with his daughter, and he will wipe out your entire species.
  • Playing with Fire: He likes fire. It took Mavra crispy-frying his hand to make him use it less.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Due to his trust issues, he has had major problems with this. Murphy arrests him twice in the first two books because he leaves her Locked Out of the Loop regarding important supernatural matters, and in later books, the White Council boots him out due to the fact that not only does he spend lots of time with Mab and Lara Raith, he constantly acts defensive and refuses to give a straight answer even to his friends. This also costs him his friendship with Carlos Ramirez, who's understandably fed up with having information kept from him and constantly being rebuffed why he tries to reach out to Harry.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: He quotes Star Wars and he's badass enough to be a Jedi. Honestly, the man is full of pop-culture references, ranging from classic movies to comic books to literature.
  • Powers as Programs: The Winter Mantle contains knowledge and, perhaps, a low level sentience and understanding of things around Harry. The magic it imbues in Harry, giving him access to his new ice magic, only needed the spell names Harry chooses to give them to have access to them.
  • Power Stereotype Flip: Since Changes, the Hot-Blooded Harry has lots of ice magic at his disposal.
  • Power-Up: invoked Being one of the strongest Wizards of his generation is nothing to sneeze at, but he gets a few upgrades as he goes along. Word of Jim states that gaining a power up isn't exclusive to Harry, but he has a few of the most unique.
    • He gets access to Hellfire while Lash was in his head, and loses it after her Heroic Sacrifice. He could've even more power as well as agelessness if he took up Lasciel's coin, but Harry staunchly refused damnation.
    • Shortly afterwards, it's implied Lucifer himself intervened in the mortal world by doing a favor for his minions by creating and sustaining a giant ring of Hellfire, in spite of the agreement against divine interference in the mortal realm. Doing so allowed Heaven's black-ops guy Uriel to intervene to balance the scales, and quietly gave Harry access to Hellfire's angelic equivalent, Soulfire, which is good for hurting demons and the like, but its real strength is in boosting his magic, particularly creation-based magic. In one instance he uses it to actualize his will to counter a deity flexing her own will on him.
    • Harry later earns the respect of Demonreach and becomes its Warden. While it can be considered more of a responsibility than a gift, as long as he's on its shores, he gets a massive boost to power, omniscient knowledge of the island's surface, and its full cooperation on it manipulating its surface. It's very situational since very few of Harry's enemies will go there, but it's still a pretty big boost. And he also later learns that he can bind certain immortal entities with his will and imprison them within the island, with him threatening Mab with this fate at the end of Cold Days and actually inflicting it upon Ethniu in Battle Ground.
    • He's taken up the mantle of the Winter Knight. It gives him low grade Super Strength (he can bench press 400 kilos, almost 900 pounds), he feels less pain, he gets a small Healing Factor, it gives him enhanced stamina, makes him sure-footed and silent while walking on ice, and it can augment his magic, even his fire spells. Also, while he already could, on paper, use ice magic (and has done so a few times in the past), it took him a lot of effort and magical juice to get relatively minor and unsophisticated effects; but with the Winter Mantle, he has easy access to ice magic with some good fine control. While it gives him some pretty good benefits, it's at least semi-sentient and thinks in very instinctual terms, including but not limited to power, authority, territoriality, and indulging the user's baser instincts. In practical terms, it tries to push Harry to dominate, kill, and rape those around him, and if the Mantle doesn't agree with what Harry's doing, he has to reframe the task ahead of him in terms the Mantle can understand or it won't cooperate.
  • Pregnant Badass: No. Really. With Bonnie, Lash's child no less. Lash's last action was out of love and self-sacrifice, which imbued Harry with their child, a spirit of intellect which was gestating inside his skull for years. He was ignorant of her until she was nearly born in Skin Game.
  • Pride: Not in the usual flavor, but he definitely falls under this sin. He holds himself to impossible standards, to be able to keep his friends and family safe and when things go wrong, like with Michael ending up with a bummed leg, he thinks he failed them and punishes himself mentally.
  • Private Detective: How he makes a living (at least prior to Changes, where he became the Winter Knight).
  • Private Eye Monologue: Even into the later books, Harry's narration is rich in creative (and often silly-sounding) metaphors pertaining to his situation, and are typically interspersed with semi-philosophical musings on the nature of humanity and the world at large.
  • Properly Paranoid: To quote Harry himself, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Let's see.
    • The first one, Justin, was highly abusivenote  and Harry killed him in self-defense.
    • He briefly had a second one, Lea, that was his Fairy Godmother. She just made him stronger with Training from Hell, is insane by most reasonable standards, and until they "reconciled", Harry spent much of his life avoiding her to avoid being turned into a dog.
    • His third (and the second actual mentor) was Ebenezer, with whom he had a good relationship with until the day Harry learned he was secretly the Council's assassin the whole time. Harry was understandably angry about the blatant hypocrisy, but Harry forgave him when he came to terms with the necessity of such a role. He later learned that this mentor was also his grandfather, a secret kept from him for some time. Then again he gets angry at Ebenezar again due to him trying to teach Harry his Fantastic Racism and Hands-Off Parenting.
    • And now Mab's a pseudo-mentor to him and by the end of Cold Days, he privately and credibly threatens her immortal life twice, to which she's just grateful he's not an idiot nor a sycophant, though she beats him up at times depending on her mood. Things just keep getting better and better.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Harry prefers revolvers, generally large-caliber ones, because of both the simplicity, the power of such a high-caliber weapon, and because having a .44 shoved in your face is quite intimidating. Harry also believes it's justified because of his "Murphyonic Field", that any other, more complicated firearms would have a very high likelihood of jamming/malfunctioning for Harry; revolvers are simple, making the chance of them failing him at critical moments no greater than it would be for a vanilla mortal. Murphy chides him on using revolvers (without any speedloaders no less, just loose shells in his pocket) at one point in Turn Coat, asking him if he's ever seen modern automatics ever jam, which is corroborated by other Wardens using semiautos without problem.
  • Ring of Power: Starts off with one that builds up force each time he moves his arm, capable of knocking a big man off his feet and flipping a car. He eventually upgrades to modified ones, one on each finger, capable of delivering impacts common with high speed car crashes and could possibly flip 24 cars when fully charged .
    • Lacking any rings in Skin Game, he just carves the spell into his wizard's staff. Seventy-seven times.
  • Running Gag: In addition to frequently (and correctly) being blamed for buildings erupting into flame (with Blood Rites famously opening with "The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault'), later books introduce one revolving around Harry's particular method of becoming the Winter Knight, and people who are aware of it. Among other things, he slept with Mab. She made sure all of Faerie saw it happening.
    • Come Skin Game, whenever Harry jumps over something, he yells, "Parkour!"
    • Harry's Destructive Savior tendencies are another, to the point where Marcone reveals that he has flimsy, light doors at dramatic (rather than strategic) entry points.
  • Sad Clown: He may make joke. He may smile. Odds are part of it is false and he is hurting deep inside.
  • Sanity Slippage: In Dead Beat, Harry is clearly feeling the effects of the Shadow in his head. He's becoming more and more aggravated and short-tempered as the story progresses, and his friends are becoming afraid of him. He was noticed speaking to empty rooms as though having a conversation with somebody only he could see, but then he was the only one who could see and hear Lasciel when she assumed the identity of Sheila. They come to terms, and he's clearly doing better by the next book.
    • Related to the former, during Proven Guilty and White Night, he gets increasingly short-tempered, which Murphy points out in White Night - while he's always been angry, he's now more so, to the point where he can end up in a blind rage. It turns out to be Lasciel's work.
    • Again in Cold Days, the influence of the Winter Mantle is giving Harry impulses to rape and kill the people around him, though he is resisting with effort. He didn't come out of Mab's domain unchanged however, and Murphy notices that at least a small part of him has started to enjoy the violence that comes with being the Winter Knight.
    • In Skin Game, while Harry's got a hold on the Winter Mantle (or at least, figured out how to control it) Butters is afraid this is happening because he's Locked Out of the Loop. In fairness, this is justified, but he doesn't know it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Constantly. Most important in Grave Peril, where he breaks the Accords and starts a war over doing the right thing.
  • Secret Keeper: Over the course of time, Harry has come to know a few big secrets in the series.
    • He knows how to perform the Darkhallow ritual.
    • He knows Lara Raith is the power behind the White Court and that Thomas is his half-brother.
    • Harry keeps the fact Maggie is his daughter a secret.
    • Harry knows about the island of Demonreach and its true nature. This is a secret known only to a few major players in the supernatural world, but Harry learned of it when he was still young. Not only that, but it allowed him to be its Warden as well as learning its origin, and the only other ones we know who also knew it is Bob, the original Merlin, and Demonreach itself.
    • Harry knows Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, was mortal once.
    • Harry knows how to kill immortals, a secret he learned from Bob.
    • Harry knows that reality has always been under attack by the Outsiders, and that the Winter Court is currently responsible for keeping them out.
    • Harry knows that Margaret LaFey's father (and thus, his own grandfather) was Ebenezar McCoy.
  • Sensor Character: Wizards can sense the presence of magic in others. Harry can tell how strong the other person is from skin contact, usually just a handshake.
    • He can use his wizard's senses to sense magic in the environment and glean details about it. Harry mentions that sensory magic isn't his strong suit, yet his basic wizard's senses can recognize the signature of a caster by sensing the residual magic around where they last cast a spell, and could recognize that person through skin contact.
    • His magical Sight can also tell him a lot about people and the environment, as he can see what a person's true nature is, albeit in a fashion that seems to carry a lot of allegory, and it can see through illusions, no matter how good or powerful. He could see the "bones" in the stadium of Chichen Itza, where players routinely died for centuries, and Molly could see his ghost with it. The downside is that Seeing things can reveal something horrible enough to damage their sanity, and they have perfect recall of the things that they Seen, no matter how long or how hard they try to forget.
    • And finally, Harry has learned to Listen. It's a skill that he picked up to hear small things very well or very selectively. He's not certain if it came bundled with the Wizard package, or if he just has really good hearing and has just learned to focus to pick up details and block out background noise. Gatekeeper Rashid is, to his knowledge, the only other character Harry met that has learned to do this.
  • Significant Birth Date: Halloween. Since this is also when dark power is at its strongest and the barriers between the afterlife and mortal realm are at their weakest, his birthdays tend to really suck.
    • Cold Days reveals that this is also the one day of the year when immortals can change and die. As it's hinted that Harry has a special destiny, this is probably not a coincidence.
    • Peace Talks reveals that Harry is Starborn, born under a stellar conjunction that occurs every 666 years, and that this is the (or at least a) source of his power against Outsiders.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports one of these while looking at the ghoul delegation in Peace Talks. and fantasising about brutally killing them and when slowly crushing Rudolph against a wall in Battle Ground.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Harry might occasionally bumble along and wing it on numerous occasions, but make no mistake; beneath the gangly, wisecracking exterior lurks an extremely sharp mind. Several villains have found out - often to their cost - just how much of a steel trap Harry's brain really is. Part of this is Obfuscating Stupidity - how much, exactly, is up for debate.
    Lloyd Slate: Spooky. He doesn't look all that smart.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Tends to drop into this when he's not just being outright snarky and rude. As Thomas notes, Harry has a cobbled-together philosophy from the sayings of saints and comic books.
  • Squishy Wizard: Only in a relative sense. Harry is a big man who keeps himself in good physical condition, as he recognizes that running away very fast is a good way to stay alive, and sometimes hitting something with a sturdy piece of wood is more effective than a spell. Still, he's only human, and up against all sorts of supernatural nasties who are quite capable of reducing him to a smear on the wall if they get the chance, so he usually relies on his wits.
  • Stepford Snarker: He snarks to hide his pain and/or fear.
  • Survival Mantra: When Harry sees a Skinwalker in its true, gruesome, terrifying, evil, monstrous form, he nearly is driven into a permanent gibbering puddle. After crashing his car, which he was in when he Saw the creature, he hobbles his way to Will and Georgia's home desperately reciting all of the prime numbers he can recall in escalating order to not think about the creature because any time he did, he immediately broke down.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When Harry allows the Winter Knight Mantle to take over. He effortless tears through several Sidhe with ice claws, killing several of them in the initial assault. Of course, this being the Mantle, Harry's filled with murdery and rapey intents.
  • Super Strength: Gains a relatively low level version after becoming the Winter Knight.
  • Talking in Your Dreams/Talking to Themself:
    • In a few instances when he was unconscious, Harry has a conversation with his subconscious and/or his Id. While he consistently looks like a Dark Wizard version of Harry, in the first instance in Fool Moon he actually gave Harry some good advice. In the following instances, his Id encourages Harry to follow his baser desires, which Harry rebuffs. In his more recent appearance in Skin Game, he's trying to warn Harry's conscious mind that the original Lasciel is out and about seeking revenge, and that he needs to protect "the parasite" Bonea.
    • It's not known if other wizards have ever manifested and conversed with their subconscious mind the way Harry has, and a more cynical reader could consider it a sign of Harry having gone off the deep end, aside from Harry's id having actually conversed with Lash, as did Molly when she "midwifed" Bonea.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's about 6' 8", has dark hair and dark eyes, and is an epic wiseass. Various characters have compared him to an NBA player.
  • Thanatos Gambit/Memory Gambit: In Ghost Story, it's revealed that Harry arranged his assassination with Kincaid and then had Molly delete the memory. However, it's also revealed that he was only Driven to Suicide through the intervention of either Anduriel, Lasciel, or Satan/Lucifer himself.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As the series progresses, via necessity, Harry gradually goes from being a semi-athletic gumshoe who gets exhausted slinging a few spells to a well-toned, building-crushing chessmaster who can sling with the nastiest wizards and monsters the world over. And this is prior to the events of Changes, where he finally becomes the Winter Knight.
    • He's taken multiple levels. When Susan was turned he suffered a Heroic BSoD and started kicking more ass; when he started training with Murphy he learned enough martial arts that he actually could kick ass; when his hand was charbroiled he began fighting smarter and developed more clever uses of his spells; when he had a demonic entity living in his head he learned a lot about the world (and got access to Hellfire while she was there); when he got an apprentice he relearned better ways of casting magic by going "back to the basics"; when he got soulfire from Uriel he started kicking more ass; he gained low-level superhuman stats through a combination of the Winter Knight mantle and the Training from Hell Mab put him through along with enhanced ice magic and becoming less reliant on tools to focus magic; when he got the Genius Loci, he gained power and a super sense while on it; and once he started living in isolation on the island, he taught himself parkour by running through the prison. And all the while, in terms of magical power, stamina, and skill, he's getting Stronger with Age.
  • Touched by Vorlons:
    • For changing the Shadow of Lasciel into the self-sacrificing Lash, Uriel chose Harry to be given Soulfire, the Fires of Creation, replacing Hellfire.
    • Donar Vaderrung (aka Father Odin) tells him in Cold Days his dying and subsequent resurrection has marked him on deeper level than he knows. He is now a "fulcrum," a turning point in many plots.
    • Someone looking at him with the Sight's Aura Vision in Storm Front remarked that his aura had been stained by He-Who-Walks-Behind along with a couple more related EldritchAbominations, though Harry was not familar with them yet. Harry himself had realized this but had forgotten it (understandably due to how traumatic the experience was) , until he remembered it while narrating the incident to Lea in Ghost Story.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Harry loves Burger King, Mac's steak sandwiches, and Mac's beer.
  • Tragic Hero: Ever since he broke free from Justin's conditioning, Harry's wanted nothing more than to prove to the world that he isn't some mindless pawn to be deployed against people's enemies. Unfortunately - as various people who believe he is just that try to force him into their service (and Harry fends them off, which inadvertently increases his perceived 'value', which makes more people try to conscript him...)- it's become clear that that's impossible. He has to be content with only a few people knowing the truth.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Lasciel, and Lea to some extent. The former wants him to give up his soul to her. The latter wants him so deeply indebted to her she can turn him into a dog to protect him, claiming that he would be safer and happier that way. To be fair, she might not be entirely wrong about that, considering the sheer misery and danger constantly piled on him.
  • Tyke-Bomb: It's implied Justin was training Harry and Elaine to be this. Harry also counts as a deconstruction; as far as the White Council is concerned, Harry is one of these, so they aren't exactly friendly to him; Harry has entirely justifiable angst from killing Justin (compounded by the fact that he knows killing with magic taints your soul); and throughout the series we see he has major trust issues.
  • Underhanded Hero: Downplayed; Despite being a Person of Mass Destruction, Harry still counts as this by virtue of being a very clever Guile Hero who more often than not successfully resorts to trickery to take down vastly more powerful opponents. Perhaps one of his most impressive examples of this is in Blood Rites, where he plays a mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess to make Lara Raith think he's acting as her cat's paw against her own father Lord Raith when in reality she is acting as his Unwitting Pawn as he tricks Raith into revealing to Lara how he both sees her and her siblings as utterly expendable and he's been putting on the illusion of still being super-powerful ever since Margaret LeFay's death curse effectively neutered him. Even Lara is impressed by Harry's quick thinking and manipulation.
  • Undying Loyalty: A mutual case with Murphy, once the Early Installment Weirdness was cleared up by Summer Knight. In Dead Beat, Mavra gets Harry to act on her behalf by blackmailing him with Murphy's ruin; in return, Harry threatens to come after Mavra with every weapon and upgrade he can get his hands on if Mavra ever tries it again. Harry lists off his potential options for this, and Harry flatly refuses every single one of them in later books... until he heads off to save Maggie in Changes, whereupon every single one of them is either taken up or seriously considered. In Cold Days, Harry gets this equal parts touching and terrifying line from Karrin:
    Murphy: I don't know what I'm meant to do or who I ought to be. But what I do know is that I've got your back. Always. [...] So goddamnit, don't you start taking the highway to Hell. Because I'm going to be right there with you. All the way.
  • Uninhibited Muscle Power: Butters speculates that this is all he really gains from the Mantle of the Winter Knight, and Harry sees his hypothesis as very likely. However, this is demonstrably untrue; Butters has not seen Harry cut loose, and no ordinary human can perform a standing long jump with a distance of 50 feet.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Harry could be the poster boy for this trope. In pretty much every book, he is out of his depth fighting warlocks, vampires and Eldritch Abominations, beaten within the inch of death, and having a headache. Yet, he always manages to survive and save the day thanks to quick thinking, help of his True Companions, and sheer dumb luck.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Sometimes. Jim Butcher makes a point that Harry has severe tunnel vision about some issues, such as when magic he isn't particularly good at is being used (especially noncombat magic, water magic, and noncombat water magic). Books with other viewpoints show that some characters Harry writes off have Hidden Depths. This is also used to explain the occasional continuity errors, such as issues with geography and names changing between books (he's bad at that subject/heard the name wrong). Small Favor takes this to a new level; the omission of one key item (Harry's ubiquitous blasting rod and fire magic) doesn't become apparent until one character points it out, and then Harry realizes that he's been Mind Raped by Mab.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Especially early in the series, Harry has massive amounts of magical brawn but is neither skilled nor subtle. Seeing senior Wizards and Wardens at work usually has him realizing how much he still has to learn. He's getting better after training Molly has him brush back up on the basics and even moreso after Mab's Training from Hell.
  • Vague Age: Because there isn't much reason to bring it up in his own narration, aside from occasionally griping about how he can't shake off things like all-nighters the way he could when he was 20, and remarking in Cold Days that he no longer looks younger than Thomas. The author comments on Twitter that he's "...25 in Storm Front and 36 in Cold Days," but admits that this might contradict canon. Also the fact that Wizards age slowly make it a bit less relevant, given Harry is going to be physically younger than his chronological age would suggest.
  • Walking Techbane: To the point where he can't have a water heater in his apartment. Or a refrigerator. Or light bulbs. When he gets a hot shower in Blood Rites, he describes it as bliss.
  • The Watson: Usually the one to whom the Monster of the Week is explained, mostly by Bob but sometimes by Mab, Luccio, etc.
  • Weapon of Choice: Harry's primary weapon is his Simple Staff, which serves as a powerful focus for him to better manipulate his sorcery through (and it can also be used as a pretty effective bludgeon when necessary). He also routinely packs increasingly large (In the first book, he had a .38, he's moved up to a .50 caliber) revolvers of one stripe or another.
  • We Help the Helpless: Doesn't he ever.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After becoming the Winter Knight, his impulses begin pushing him to become more and more predatory, in every sense of the word. Harry resists it, but finds the implications disturbing.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: In Cold Days it is implied Queen Mab wants him for this as she is happy he gives her two serious, legitimate threats to her immortal life and with all every intent of going through with them if she crossed a line. As the Outsiders could even infect her, she wanted a Knight to kill her if the situation came about, not some loyal Yes-Man who may not realize her infection.
  • Worthy Opponent: He eventually starts to see Mavra, Marcone, and Lara Raith all as this for him, with the former being begrudgingly considered as Friendly Enemies of him.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He has trouble assaulting female characters unless it is a life-or-death moment.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: From the get go, Harry demonstrates some pretty decent skills as a PI, but he develops some serious skills in the art of manipulation, cunning, and developing plans to leave him winning something even if he doesn't end up with all the marbles at the end. Then again, he had a Fallen Angel living in his head as a counsellor for a couple years, so maybe that helped. To elaborate:
    • In Blood Rites, he successfully dethrones the King of the White Court by using Lara Raith as his catspaw, a move that impresses her, since he manipulated her by claiming that he would be her catspaw.
    • In White Night, Harry outsmarts several members of the White Court and solidifies Lara's power base again by manipulating the situation. In Small Favor, he manages to outwit Nicodemus of all people, nearly killing him in the process.
    • In Turn Coat, Harry successfully comes up with a scheme to smoke out the White Council's mysterious traitor. Arguably subverted, though, in that as Ebenezar later conveys to him, he only barely succeeded through sheer dumb luck.
    • The entirety of Skin Game is a speed chess rematch with Nicodemus, which ultimately ends in Harry's favor when he's able to provoke Nicodemus into breaking his word, irrevocably tarnishing his name in the supernatural community, and ending in Nicodemus also murdering his own daughter, losing two coins in Hades' realm, his squires deserting him, and a new Knight of the Cross active. Admittedly, part of that was Harry being played by greater forces, but still.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother, to Lord Raith. By the end of the book Harry finds it out, Raith ends up in a Fate Worse than Death.
  • You're Insane!: Some of his zaniest and craziest plans can get this reaction. Two standout examples are inviting a Skinwalker to a fight, riding a zombie T-rex through the city streets to stop a cabal of necromancers from becoming Physical Gods, and playing poker with a Nigh-Invulnerable faerie for the fate of Chicago. Or as a Red Court vampire who was a victim of another such plan put it:
    The wizard is a madman!

    Bob the Skull 

Bob the Skull

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bob_welcometothejungle.png
Harry's snarky spirit companion.

Harry's wiseass spirit of intellect familiar, currently inhabiting a skull after some unspecified, long-ago incident that pissed Mab off at him. Since technology goes haywire around wizards, Harry can't use a computer, which is why he keeps Bob around. Bob knows how valuable he is, and as such Harry has to bribe him with things like trashy romance novels and trips outside his skull to make sure he cooperates.


  • Absentee Actor: He doesn't appear at all in Peace Talks.
  • All Guys Want Sorority Women: Bob's first action when let out was to trigger and watch an orgy at a local sorority.
  • Bash Brothers: Bob's new role with Butters as the owner, after Butters lets him off the leash and he gets to show what he can do besides act as a knowledge bin.
  • Blow You Away: Downplayed example. In addition to "spirit of intellect", Harry occasionally refers to Bob as a "spirit of air".
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Maaaybe . . . In Small Favor Harry notes that Bob is a being of pure thought, which, in a sense, all fictional characters are too, and that Bob may consider the characters in his romance novels to be kin. He even talks to them as he reads. He's also mentioned to Harry that there are other universes where "fictional" characters are real, so it's possible that he has trouble keeping track.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Bob mostly serves as Harry's snarky assistant, chief information resource, and eyes and ears when the need arises. We had no reason to think that he was anything resembling powerful until we saw his evil side in Dead Beat, where he nearly killed Harry with necromantic magic in less than a minute. And though that was by trickery, it was also demonstrated just how dangerous his knowledge was, as it turned out that he was the spirit who helped Kemmler, among other things, create the Darkhallow. His power is also alluded to by Luccio in Small Favor when she (not knowing that Bob is still around and in Harry's possession) refers to him when discussing what an insane Archive would be capable of, remarking that he was a 'miniature Archive' in Kemmler's service and that 'the things it [Bob] was capable of were appalling'. It isn't until Changes, however, that it's really shown that Bob is an incredibly powerful entity in his own right, capable of shielding a human by resisting the willpower of the Lords of Outer Night and the Red King by himself. We see it even further in Ghost Story where Bob wrecks a number of Corpsetaker's lemur lieutenants by himself and the kind of stuff Evil Bob was capable of, which might put him on even terms with a senior member of the White Council. Now that is powerful.
    • Battle Ground turns it Up to Eleven, with him being a key linchpin in Harry's binding ritual against Ethniu. Bob forms a circle of power around Ethniu, and successfully matches wills against the Last Titan long enough for Harry to bring Demonreach into play so he can shove her evil ass down into The Well to rot for the rest of eternity.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To the extent that he can hold his own in Snark-to-Snark Combat with Harry. Then again, his personality is based on his owner.
  • Dirty Old Man: invoked Word of God is that his personality is based on his owner. He's obsessed with sex because Harry was a Hormone-Addled Teenager when he acquired Bob (although to be fair Harry hasn't improved that much over the years). He retains this personality after transferring to Butters because that's how he was when Butters first met him, and that first impression stuck.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Bob is generally cheerfully amoral. But even he thinks Heinrich Kemmler was a monster.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Necro-Bob is seriously, seriously powerful, and while regular Bob has Blue-and-Orange Morality, the other guy pretty much just doesn't have any morality.
  • He Knows Too Much: Throughout the books it seems like Mab's desire to kill Bob stems from some kind of Noodle Incident, but it is revealed in Cold Days he knows how to kill immortals.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Harry, in that he's a memory spirit of immense knowledge and power (see Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass).
  • I Hate Past Me: In a downplayed and lighthearted case, he's a walking example for Harry himself, as he's basically a perpetual reminder for him in how embarrassing he was as a Hormone-Addled Teenager.
  • Instant Allegiance Artifact: He is completely and truly loyal to whoever owns his skull. This is why, despite all his potential power, Harry almost never took the risk of bringing him out into the field.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Harry enters the skull in Ghost Story and perceives Bob's home as the ultimate bachelor pad, with a huge TV, a top-of-the-line stereo system, and just about every video game system ever made. Bob himself takes a human form with a strong resemblance to James Dean.
  • Leap of Faith: Bob states that he is actually incapable of making this. He is a being of reason and logic. That is his basis of power. To delve into matters of Faith is something he won't do as he could piss off the wrong angel, Fallen or otherwise.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Let's just say that when Bob needs to take on other spirits, he rarely has any trouble handling them, the only possible exceptions being a Physical God and his evil self.
  • Literal Split Personality: When accessing the memories/knowledge he gained under Kemmler Bob turns into the evil spirit Kemmler "twisted" him into. After this nearly kills or corrupts Harry Bob severs this part of himself. Which is great, now no future owners can use his knowledge for evil... except he severed enough knowledge to become an entirely new spirit, Necro-Bob.
  • Logical Weakness: As noted above, he cannot make a Leap of Faith as he is a spirit of logic and reason, not faith.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Even though he has no body. Among other things, he usually spends his time reading sleazy romance novels when he is not helping Harry. Bob explains his fascination with the naked female form as being a purely aesthetic appreciation for their beauty and grace...
    Harry: (rolling his eyes) And they have boobs.
    Bob: (gleefully) And they have BOOBS, Harry!
  • Magical Computer:
    • Literally. Bob has an expansive knowledge of all things magic, and somehow possesses the capability to understand the current state of magic and any changes to it that may have occurred.
    • And as of Ghost Story he now has access to the Internet! God help us all.
  • Mind over Matter: Bob can use the skull to show emotions, such as letting the jaw drop open in surprise or banging the forehead against the wall in frustration. That, and turning the pages of his paperback romances, are about all he can do while inside the skull. Once he leaves it, though, he can do a lot more as long as he's protected from exposure to sunlight.
  • Mr. Exposition: His general role in most stories. Harry either needs information, information translated, or Bob to go gather information. His knowledge is extremely extensive. In Cold Days he was shocked when Demonreach's glyphs were beyond even him.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: He sounds genuinely shocked and baffled when he's investigating the runes on Demonreach in Cold Days and actually doesn't understand what they mean.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The TV series changed Bob from a spirit living in the skull (but able to leave it at times) to a ghost attached to the skull. This is because it's much easier to show emotion and the like with, you know, a face.
  • Protectorate: Bob can be this to Harry. When Thomas comes to Bob for help taking care of Oblivion War business, Thomas tasks Bob to determine if the knowledge Thomas is about to give him would be a danger to Harry and if it is, keep it from him. After learning the scope of the War, how even knowledge of the War is dangerous, and considering Harry's general personality, Bob keeps silent about the matter to Harry. Presumably, he has kept quiet to Butters as well.
  • Putting on the Reich: Evil Bob worked for Kemmler for a while, and picked up an appreciation for SS gear, if Ghost Story is anything to go by.
  • Running Gag: Both his status as a Lovable Sex Maniac and Harry's utter bafflement with Bob being able to convey certain emotions/sounds/facial expressions despite just being a glowing skull.
  • Servile Snarker: He's bound to serve Harry. That doesn't mean he has to be polite about it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Harry tells him that he will be used in Battle Ground to help bind Ethniu, Bob completely freaks out and wants to leave for Utah instead.
  • The Smart Guy: Bob serves this purpose as the Mr. Exposition.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: You don't want to mess with Dark Bob.
  • True Neutral: invoked In-Universe, he has this morality by default as a spirit of intellect. According to Word of God, his morality is only limited to that of his current owner (i.e., Harry and/or Butters).
  • Weakened by the Light: He can be "killed"/destroyed by direct sunlight.

    Mister 

Mister

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mister_welcometothejungle.png
Mister in his natural state.

Harry Dresden's gigantic gray house cat with a missing tail. Mister is a matter-of-fact animal and eats Harry's leftover food whenever possible. He "narrates" the micro-comic "Everything the Light Touches".


  • Affectionate Nickname: He refers to Harry as Big Monkey and to Maggie as Little Monkey.
  • Cats Are Magic: He can see and interact with ghosts. In Ghost Story, when Harry's spirit shows up at Murphy's house and the gang doesn't believe it's him despite Mort's reassurances, Mister bounds in and shoulder bumps the air where Harry is like he used to when he was alive and Harry finds that he can actually pet Mister. After that, no one doubts.
  • Cats Are Superior: When Mouse moved in, Mister immediately established his dominance in the household. Even when Mouse becomes dog-asaurus, Mouse respects Mister's authority.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Mister is the narrator in the pre-Peace Talks short story "Everything the Light Touches".
  • Demoted to Extra: He was never a huge character, but appears less and less after Harry dies, to the point where he's completely absent from Battle Ground.
  • Detect Evil: Mister is capable of this as well. However, since Mouse is better at it, he doesn't make use of this usually after Mouse arrives. As Harry puts it, he tends to make lots of noise and then leave when supernatural danger is around.
    • He detects the arrival of Victor Sell's demon long before it arrives.
    • He senses Susan's vampire side taking control and warns Harry with a screech.
    • He's able to sense the piece of the slime golem being activated and futilely tries to warn Molly alongside Mouse when she's testing her magic on it.
  • Glamour Failure: Bizarrely inverted. He has the unique attribute of being the only thing in the entire universe who looks exactly the same to Harry under Wizard Sight as he does without it. However, the one time Harry looks is a one-off gag in the short story "Day Off".
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The short story narrated by him makes it clear he is quite jealous of the attention Mouse receives. It's also literal since his eyes can glow green as he's a cat.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Played for Laughs; As noted above, for whatever reason Mister is the only entity in the entire known universe to look exactly like he normally does when put under the Sight.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is far more fond of Harry and Maggie than he would normally let on.
    • Cold Days has him far less abrasive to Harry than usual, happy to see him alive and well.
    • Also, when he senses Harry is upset, he is more than willing to team-up with Mouse to console him, despite his abrasive attitude towards the dog.
  • Improbable Age: Downplayed; Harry found him as a kitten about three years before Storm Front. By the time of Skin Game, Mister is seventeen or eighteen years old — Maine Coons, which are probably the most comparable breed of cat in terms of size, typically only live for ten to thirteen years. Still, it's possible to have a thirty-pound cat closing in on eleven years and showing no real signs of age, so they're certainly still out there.
  • Killer Rabbit: Mister is this to the brownies who clean Harry's home, to the point that the other fairies have set up a guarding system. He sometimes takes this role toward cars and dogs, either attacking or fleeing from them on sight. Harry has speculated that Mister's tail was ripped off by one or the other when he was a kitten.
  • Mega Neko: He weighs around thirty pounds, but not from body fat; he's just an enormous cat. Harry remarks at one point that Mister is bigger than some dogs.
  • Running Gag: Harry has a whole grab-bag of jokes about Mister's massive size, usually related to his eating habits (dogs, sheep, small children...) or breeding (part bobcat).
  • The Nondescript: From a metaphysical standpoint. According to Harry, Mister looks the exact same when looked at by his Third Eye as normally. Can also be considered an aversion in that sense too, since Mister is literally the only being Harry has encountered that is like this.
  • Oh, Crap!: After "Day Off", he bolts every time Andi is in the room. He also has this reaction when the slime golem's power is near.
  • This Is My Human: Bob, who's ridden around in his head, says he thinks this. Harry also makes note of this, musing that likely Mister adopted him, not the other way around.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Any leftovers that Harry brings home from Mac's pub, and the occasional saucer full of Coca-Cola.
  • Uneven Hybrid: A non-human example. Harry (semi-jokingly) speculates that he's at least part wildcat.
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    Mouse 

Mouse

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mouse_downtown.png
One of Harry's best friends... and most powerful allies.
"Woof."

Harry's dog, acquired accidentally when Harry was hired by a Tibetan monk to retrieve a litter of Tibetan Foo Dog puppies from captivity. Mouse accidentally got left behind, and Harry couldn't get in touch with the monks to return him. Harry named him Mouse because he was small, grey and quiet... and the last line of the book in which he's introduced is, "Why did you buy large-breed puppy chow?" He has since become a good friend to Team Harry, and later picks up guarding Maggie. He narrates the third part of the short story "Zoo Day".


  • A Day in the Limelight: He's one of the main characters in "Zoo Day".
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: As he is in fact a magic dog, it's not too odd that Mouse seems to be about as smart as an average human. He's still a dog, though; he can't talk (in Human speech), nor does he have opposable thumbs, and his idea of a good time is a nice long bellyrub and a non-shared hot dog.
    • In Changes fellow animals can understand Mouse, and he "speaks" clearly and articulately. He really is as smart as, or smarter than, a human.
    • In Skin Game, when Maggie Dresden mentions she and Mouse are reading James and the Giant Peach, Harry needs to consider if she means she's reading it to him, or if Mouse might be reading it too, considering the dog is as smart as most people.
    • In "Zoo Day", it's mentioned that he read a book written by older Carpenter kids on how to fight children's monsters alongside Maggie. He understood it just as well as Maggie.
    • In "Christmas Eve", he's helping Harry assemble a bike for Maggie. Harry's actually failing at following the instructions, while Mouse can follow them easily. Handing the pieces to Harry and even guiding him in what he's supposed to do, by the end Harry's mostly holding the instructions and letting Mouse direct him on what to do. Yes, Mouse is a better mechanic than Harry is. He's also read "A Christmas Carol" and recognizes quotes from it.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Not normally, as he's a Big Friendly Dog. Until someone threatens anyone Mouse cares about, he shifts into this mode quick and will take them apart. Literally. Bar none.
  • Animal Talk: In "Zoo Day", he's shown talking to the various animals at the zoo, asking them to show off and do cool stuff so that Maggie has a good time. He mentions he finds it funny that humans think you need to use your mouth to speak.
  • Attack Animal: Normally Mouse is friendly towards everyone and tries to suck up to them for treats. However, when Harry or Thomas gives the order, he becomes a 200-pound ball of pain and death, such as when Mouse he swiftly kills Quintus Cassius in Dead Beat.
    Harry: Mouse, kill him. (cue Neck Snap)
  • Angel Unaware: Uriel refers to him as "cousin". His exact nature and true power remain a mystery.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mouse usually acts like a big goofball, but he's perfectly capable in a fight, and the one time we've been able to understand his speech (when Harry and co are in dog form) he openly threatens Lea to get her to turn them back. And he has absolutely no qualms with killing when needed, to the point that he thoroughly ensured Cassius and at least one vampire remained dead once he got them in his teeth. He also calmly tells his Shadow (one of his older littermates) that while he never won their little fights as puppies and is somewhat out of shape — at a contrast to his brother's lean physique caused by a very hard life — meaning that he could never win a fair fight, he wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice his own life so as to take them both down together and protect Maggie. This actually gets his Shadow to back down and demonstrate grudging respect.
  • Big Eater: According to the RPG, he consumes a HUUUUUGE amount of kibble. In "Zoo Day", after he falls behind a little in a chase, he reminds the reader, a touch defensively, that he is a Good Dog and that means he gets lots of treats.
  • Big Friendly Dog: He's one of these except for the "dumb" part (which is all Obfuscating Stupidity), and plays it up to make himself less scary to people who meet him. In particular, as a puppy he was able to win over Murphy who described herself as phobic about large dogs.
  • The Big Guy: For Harry's team. Words have described his level of power and threat to his enemies as between Hulk-tier and Superman-tier. He is the only thing besides a Sword of the Cross that Anduriel, the Fallen of Nicodemus, outright fears.
  • Canine Companion:
    • He started off as Harry's, helping him detect some evil mojo if it was approaching, like Mavra in Dead Beat. He is fiercely loyal to Harry, and highly dangerous to anything evil.
    • After Harry's death, he is inherited by Maggie and in Skin Game it's revealed that they rarely leave the other one's side. Maggie still suffers from panic attacks after her kidnapping, but Mouse's presence is able to sooth her. Officially, Mouse is her medical dog for panic attacks, and thus allowed to be with her even in schools.
  • Canis Major: He's colossal, having grown so big that Dresden doesn't generally call him a "dog" anymore. "Dogasaurus" is common, and when referring to both of his pets, he refers to them as "Mister, my large cat, and Mouse, my small ankylosaur". Dresden's also claimed that he's half chow and half wooly mammoth. For comparison's sake, here are some pictures of Tibetan Mastiffs, which Mouse is said to appear to be a member of; see also Bernese mountain dogs, which Mouse has also been described as akin to. Mouse is bigger (as in at least three feet tall at the shoulder).
  • Color Blind Confusion: Like all dogs, Mouse can only see blue and yellow and cannot distinguish red and green.
    Mouse: Maggie says my vest is red. I do not know what means, but that is her favorite, and that makes me happy.
  • Cool Pet: A holy empowered 200-lb+ beast that could simultaneously snap a man's neck and tear out his throat with ease, maul a White Court vampire into Ludicrous Gibs, threaten a high-ranking fae and be taken seriously, and scare Anduriel, the captain of Lucifer's guard, but then become the most loving and affectionate puppy, despite his size, to his master and friends. Also, he can read and follow bike assembly instructions better than his master.
  • Death Glare: Mouse can pull them off very well. Coming from a dog his size, even a one-eyed version makes people smart enough back away.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed:
    • Mouse has been known to sigh at Harry's density when it comes to the fair sex.
    • At one point plays up an injury to make the person whose fault it was feel guilty.
    • Also when Harry is giving the guitar a bad name.
    • When Andi is kidnapped again Mouse opines that she should be locked in a garage until she learns to take care of herself.
    • In Turn Coat he constantly has to intervene to keep Molly and Morgan from killing each other when Harry is away. He manages to express a certain degree of exasperation, if not outright shame, with the fact that everyone manages to start up a Mexican Standoff when left unsupervised by Harry for more then five minutes. When Harry scolds everyone for not just talking to each other, Mouse also demands to not be included in the scolding.
    • He and Mister are simultaneously exasperated at Molly being Too Dumb to Live by feeding magic in the detached part of a dark magic construct to practice telekinesis in the comic Down Town.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Mouse has had a keen sense of malevolence since he was a pup.
    • He is first introduced to the readers by barking at a Black Court vampire trying to ambush and Speed Blitz Harry and Thomas. He sensed Inari's developing succubus side and barked a warning and sensed the "guard" Harry met wasn't human either. Later on, Harry comes to notice his deep resonating growls as a good warning about. Even the hint of mortal black magic is able to be sensed by him, such as his first meeting with Molly after she used mind magic on her friends.
    • It does not need to be magical baddies either. Mouse isn't too fond of Hate Sink Caine or The Don Johnny Marcone.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mouse has a bark that crosses dimensional borders, shrugs off bullet wounds and being hit by a speeding van, and is a credible physical threat to a high-ranking fae. Luckily, he's also loyal, compassionate, and possibly more intelligent than his owner. Anduriel, Nicodemus' Fallen, has demonstrated fear of Mouse on multiple occasions. Mab, the Winter Queen herself, treats Mouse with utmost civility, bowing to him and calling him Guardian. This is considerably more respect than she gives Dresden himself.
  • Genius Bruiser: A highly intelligent dog who has a pretty good understanding of magic, and weighs about 200 lb.
  • Gentle Giant: Mouse is a huge dog and could easily savage pretty much anyone he meets. He's also loving, affectionate, and perfectly happy receiving a belly rub from Harry's friends. He's even gentle enough that Murphy, who suffers a phobia of large dogs, can feel comfortable with him. That said, if you're a monster who's going after Harry or other innocents, the gloves come off.
  • Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: Mouse earned his name because he fit into Harry's coat pocket as a puppy. Fully grown, he barely fits into the Blue Beetle's back seat.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Mouse is a temple dog, and apparently some sort of rules prevents him from intervening when Haunts hunt a child. So long as the Haunts do not get physical with their prey, at which point they would break the rules and become fair game for his intervention.
  • Gut Feeling: He can sense dark energies, and describes them in this manner.
    Mouse: Something was wrong. I knew it in my tail.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: A dog variant. Mouse is a temple dog — part mortal canine, part Chinese guardian spirit called a Foo dog.
    • As revealed in Changes, his pedigree may be even more purely spirit than that; one of the characters refers to him as an actual Foo dog. Ancient Mai also calls him a Foo dog, and the Eebs refer to him as an "ice demon" from "the land of dreams" (aka Tibet).
    • In Ghost Story, Uriel refers to Mouse as "little cousin".
  • Heroic Dog:
    • Mouse saves Harry's life on multiple occasions.
    • In Dead Beat he wants to save Harry, but knows Harry well enough to save Butters first and drag the young man to safety.
    • He becomes Maggie's protector in Ghost Story.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Mouse has shown a few times when he has used restrained force when dealing with troublemakers. When Thomas is overcome by his Hunger and nearly feeds on Molly, Mouse only tackles him and grips his neck in his jaws with only enough pressure to bind Thomas there but not kill him.
  • Intellectual Animal: He has at least human-level intelligence and even higher wisdom.
  • Ironic Name: Harry named Mouse back when he was a tiny puppy that fit into the pocket of Harry's duster. Mouse grows up to be a huge, huge dog.
  • It Can Think: While Mouse isn't a threat to him, Thomas is startled to see Harry speak to Mouse as if the dog can understand him in Dead Beat, and then hastily informs Mouse that he hadn't meant it when he'd said something rude about Harry earlier.
  • Large Ham: In Turn Coat Molly was scared Luccio had her mind addled and attempted to use mind magic to examine her. Morgan saw this and drew a gun he had hidden on his body and fired. Mouse took the bullet and held the situation to a stalemate until Harry arrived. When things were settled, Mouse played up his pain and suffering while Molly tended to the wound he got because of her to make her feel even more guilty about her stupid and reckless action.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Maggie, Harry's daughter. After the trauma the Red Court inflicted upon her, she is a very fragile girl. However, Mouse has been with her since then and serves as a source of comfort for her. He gains certification to be a service dog for her panic attacks as a cover so she will always be protected from being stuffed into a fridge, and she probably would have panic attacks if he isn't around.
  • Loyal Animal Companion:
    • Thomas is convinced that Harry was actually an impostor once when he showed up with a human sidekick. Might also qualify for Molly, since Harry frequently tells Mouse to hold back and protect her in dangerous situations.
    • After Harry's death, he is now this to Maggie. He is (officially) her service dog to justify him never leaving her side.
  • Made of Iron: Shrugs off being hit by a speeding van, and considers being shot a minor inconvenience. It's also noted that Foo dogs have much longer lifespans than normal dogs, making it likely that Mouse will be around to protect Maggie for longer than a normal human lifespan at least.
  • Make the Dog Testify: A nonverbal version. Towards the end of Turn Coat, Mouse's testimony is instrumental in bringing a villain to justice by identifying his scent. It helps that this is a court of wizards, so "my dog can identify the culprit" is not quite so blink-inducing, particularly since most of the Chinese wizards can and do identify him as an intelligent, evil-detecting temple dog.
  • Mighty Roar: Mouse doesn't bark often, but when he needs to sound an alarm, he can literally be heard for a mile, through multiple walls, ceilings and floors. It also will awaken people if there is danger but without causing panic and break through enchantments as well.
  • Noodle Incident: Somewhere between Proven Guilty and White Knight, the vets apparently once mixed up Mouse's papers, and tried to neuter him rather than give him the shot and x-ray he was there for. Whatever Mouse did exactly, Harry mentions he was glad the vet let him "pay for the damages".
  • Not So Above It All: "Zoo Day" establishes that while he's clearly as intelligent as any human, he still very much has the general outlook of a dog. For instance, he defends being overweight from getting so many treats as being that he deserves treats since "I'm a Good Dog. Everybody says so."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Mouse is at least as intelligent as any human. In Changes, when Harry and his associate are transformed by Lea into hounds, they can understand Mouse speak. It turns out that he's smart and powerful enough to be called a demon by Lea, and frightens her enough to make her back down by threatening to literally bite her ass off.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Played for Laughs; Mouse is very defferential to Mister ever since the old tomcat repeatedly swatted him on the nose when Mouse was just a tiny puppy. This respect has continued even into the present, where Mister is only "bobcat-sized" but Mouse is now the size of "a small Ankylosaur".
  • Only Sane Man: A dog variant. He certainly sometimes feels this way around Harry and the company he keeps.
  • Papa Wolf: Don’t screw with his family. He does not take kindly to it. During one particular occasion when his Shadow was planning to go after Maggie, Mouse made it very clear that if he did try, he would eviscerate him with his teeth even if it cost him his life just to make sure he didn’t go anywhere near her. It’s enough to make Shadow rethink his priorities.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Well, he is Harry's dog. In "Zoo Day", he references The Dark Knight, and he's also familiar with A Christmas Carol and James and the Giant Peach.
  • This Is My Human:
    • Towards Harry, this is his viewpoint as he tells Lea.
      Lea: How did [Harry] ever win you?
      Mouse: He didn't. I won him.
    • In "Zoo Day", he refers to Harry and Maggie as "my humans". Harry is "my Friend Harry", and Maggie is "the Best Little Girl in the World".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Temple dogs draw their power from a home's threshold; as Harry's apartment doesn't have a very strong one, his own power was limited there. Although he learned a few ways around the limitations, after moving to the Carpenters' "he went from Thing to Hulk when he moved in to protect Maggie".
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Ironically, despite being a dog, he's closer to this personality-wise. Mouse is a Combat Pragmatist and a Deadpan Snarker who likes to confuse his opponents with pop-culture references.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: A mysterious, extremely smart, holy empowered dog for a powerful wizard implied to be The Chosen One.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: According to Maggie, Mouse has something akin to this. He can "cheat" and make things happen in more positive way: restaurants will have really nice waiters and tables free, tv shows play the most interesting commercials, animals at the zoo will be particularly active and do tricks while Maggie visits or doors Maggie might need will conveniently be unlocked. According to her Mouse doesn't use his power when she's at school. Mouse himself mentions spending energy for two days to make Maggie and Harry's day together in "Zoo Day" go very well.
  • Xenofiction: He's one of the narrators of "Zoo Day".

     Maggie Dresden 

Margaret "Maggie" Angelica Dresden

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_12_25_at_104216_am.png
Daughter of Chicago's only private wizard investigator

The daughter of Harry and Susan Rodriguez, conceived during Death Masks and was introduced as the Living MacGuffin of Changes. She was kidnapped by Arianna to be used in a sacrificial ritual, but saved by Harry. After living with the Carpenters for a time (due to her father believed to be dead) she and Harry meet at last and form an instant bond and as of Peace Talks now lives with him.

Narrates the second part of the short story "Zoo Day".


  • A Boy and His X: She and Mouse, whom Harry tasked as her protector, are virtually inseparable. They even fight monsters together and Michael states he's registered as an "emotional support animal" so he can attend school with her.
  • A Day in the Limelight: She's one of the narrators and main characters of "Zoo Day".
  • Ambiguously Brown: Her mother was of Latin American descent and her father is white. It's mentioned that she generally comes across as looking far more like her mother than her father.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Due to witnessing the murder of her foster family, she has something akin to PTSD, and she has issues with crowds and big open spaces which makes her "spazz out" in her own words.
  • Break the Cutie: Compare the smiling photo to the broken-down crying wreck she is when Harry meets her (after narrowly securing her a reprieve).
    • When Harry inquires about her in Cold Days it's revealed that she's recovered a great deal aside from some PTSD and her subsequent appearances have her as more of a smiling, happy child.
  • Buffy Speak: According to her, Mouse "slayerized" a monster under her bed.
  • The Cutie: Was this until Arianna kidnapped her. Luckily, a couple years with the carpenters have helped get back there to the point she's a semi-well adjusted happy child again with brief moments of PTSD.
  • Disappeared Dad: Harry, by virtue of not being told she even existed for the first five years of her life, later his supposed death, and afterwards his fear of her being in danger from both his enemies and himself. After meeting her Skin Game, he resolves to be a part of her life and by Peace Talks she now lives with him.
    • "Zoo Day" reveals that she has a fear of him finding out about her "spazzing out" at times and decide he doesn't want a broken daughter, not realizing the lengths he'd go for her.
  • Generation Xerox: Maggie Dresden is every bit her father's daughter. She has a somewhat cynical view that brings some snark and a tendency to call monsters by nicknames she made up for them (as well as kicking their butts). Her shirt in "Zoo Day" implies she's a Star Wars fan just like him and notes that her father looks cooler wearing his duster. Unfortunately, like Harry, part of her personality is the result of some rather traumatic experiences.
  • Happily Adopted: As of Ghost Story is now living with the Carpenters with Mouse as her companion. After meeting her father, she moves in with him in-between Skin Game and Peace Talks though Maggie still loves the Carpenters very much and is always welcome at their home.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Jim confirms at Phoenix Con 2017 the fact she is born from a mother who wasn't entirely human at the time of conception and birth have some effect on Maggie's life. Here.
    Jim Butcher: You can't just not [have her mom being part vampire affect her].
  • Harmful to Minors: It's very likely she saw what the Red Court did to her first foster family - all of them, children included - in the process of kidnapping her. The short story "Zoo Day" somewhat confirms this.
  • Hero of Another Story: At EasterCon 2015, Jim announced that he was planning a series following Maggie's future adventures at an Extranormal Institute as she battles monsters and beings visible only to children and forgotten about by adults.
    • "Zoo Day" confirms she's already this, having "slayerized" one of these monsters and takes on a whole pack of them without her father ever knowing.
  • Human Sacrifice: Arianna planned this for her, and after Arianna's plans fell through thanks to her death at Harry's hands, the Red King tried to do the same. She was saved, but it's pretty safe to say that she'll have scars for years to come.
  • Little Miss Badass: "Zoo Day" reveals the existence of the "Creeps", monsters that only children can see and that Maggie and Mouse beat one of them already and she takes on a whole pack of them.
  • Little Miss Snarker: As her comments about stupid adults in the narration in "Zoo Day" indicate, Maggie takes after her father.
  • Missing Mom: Susan Rodriguez because it was first too dangerous to keep her around while Susan was fighting the Red Court, and later dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, saving little Maggie from the Red Court.
  • The Nicknamer: In "Zoo Day", she takes to call the leader of the haunts "Space Face" and "Tear Streaks."
  • Protectorate: As Michael puts it:
    Michael: Things did not turn out well for the last monster who raised his hand against your child. Or any of his friends. Or associates. Or anyone who worked for him. Or for most of the people he knew.
    Michael: Whether or not that was your intention, you did establish a rather effective precedential message to the various predators should they ever learn of her relationship with you.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: She has a book on Creeps, supernatural creatures only children can see and whom the children forget when the grow into teenage and adulthood. The book was written by the Carpenter children, each one passing it to the next and eventually forgetting about the book entirely, starting with Molly, all the way to Harry Carpenter, who gave it to Maggie. It details the various types of Creep they encountered and how to defeat them.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Maggie's reaction, with Badass Armfold, when she and her dad enter the zoo and run into a gang of school girls under Demonic Possession.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Due to what she's been through, she is rather perceptive if a bit cynical.
    • In "Zoo Day", she holds back Mouse from attacking a demonically possessed schoolgirl because she knows it would be hard to explain to onlookers. If only she knew Mouse was going for the one who sent the demon.

    "Bonnie" 

The Parasite/Bonea, aka "Bonnie"

Daughter of "Lash" and Dresden, Bonnie is a spiritual entity that had been growing in Harry's head for years. When Lash sacrificed herself in White Night, it was an act described as one of "true selfless love and creation" and led to the creation of their child. Harry identifies her as a "spirit of intellect" possessing the sum knowledge of both Harry and Lash.


  • Book Dumb: Inverted; she has lots of raw data but not a lot of practical experience.
  • Children Are Innocent: Very. Being a spirit of intellect doesn't change the fact she's only a few years old which make her something akin to a newborn when compared to beings like Bob.
  • Curious as a Monkey: She has a lot of knowledge but not a lot of life experience, which results in her asking a lot of questions to try to contextualize things.
  • Exact Words: Demonreach and Mab both describe it as a parasite. As Harry's subconscious notes, that's a darkly humorous way of describing a fetus. While Demonreach probably didn't know any better, Mab certainly did.
  • Expy: Of the Greek goddess Athena, being a powerful spiritual entity that emerges from her father's skull and is intricately intertwined with both wisdom (being the "child" of a Fallen Angel's shadow) and war (as she lived through some of the deadliest fights in her father's life).
  • Fallen Angel: She's basically the child of one, and has all of the Fallen Lasciel's memories and knowledge.
  • Meaningful Name: invoked Word of Jim is that Dresden named her Bonea, a Scottish word meaningful beautiful (and also punning on Bonnie's home inside a skull-shaped object). She'll be nicknamed "Bonnie" for short.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: In Harry's mind, she's described as looking like a patchwork of both various important female friends in Harry's life and Harry himself. To be more specific, she has her mother Lash's blue-green eyes, Karrin Murphy's square and balanced chin, the Archive's rounded cheeks, Susan Rodriguez's jawline, Elaine Mallory's nose, and Kim Delaney's hairstyle (which is the same color as her father Harry's).
  • Mundane Utility: She partly possesses her sister Maggie, as her part to help make pancakes in Peace Talks.
  • No-Sell: As a creature formed from Harry's essence, Mab warns that it would sail right past any protections around his loved ones. The fact that she's genuinely innocent and just looking for help is also part of the reason why any wards would have no effect on her.
  • Obliviously Evil: She's not evil, she just doesn't know any better, and places tremendous burden on Harry's mind simply by existing. He also notes that this is what would happen to Maggie; the Parasite would cause terrible damage to the girl's psyche, but really she's just a scared little girl looking for the closest thing she would have to family after Harry's Death by Childbirth.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Okay, not a ghost, but a disembodied spiritual entity of intellect. She was born from Lash's act of love in sacrificing herself for Harry, and eventually takes possession of the wooden skull Harry had carved for Bob.
  • Punny Name: Her name is Bonea because it has the word bone in it and she lives in a (wooden) skull.
  • Someone To Remember Her By: She's effectively Dresden's daughter by Lash, born from her remains combined with parts of Dresden's own psyche.
  • Superior Successor: In a sense, she's this to Bob; Being what amounts to the offspring of a Fallen Angel, unlike him she can make Leaps of Faith and and has even more metaphysical power to throw around.
  • Spanner in the Works: For the same reason as Demonreach. She helped the Genius Loci and Mab keep Harry's body metabolically active while he was dead.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Bonea is immensely naïve and completely unaware of how the world works (unlike Bob, who is several centuries old at the youngest), she's only existed as an independent conscious entity for a few months at most after she's "born" at the very end of Skin Game. However, she's also terrifyingly powerful due to have all of the knowledge and memories of a Fallen Angel.
  • True Neutral: invoked In-Universe, she has this morality by default as a spirit of intellect. According to Word of God, she's like Bob in that her morality is only limited to that of her current owner (i.e., Maggie).
  • Walking Spoiler: No one expected her existence and for Harry to be pregnant since White Night.
  • Weakened by the Light: Being a spirit of intellect, like Bob she can be presumably destroyed by exposure to direct sunlight.

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